Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.52
Liaison Gina Talt
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Princeton University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Shana Weber
Director
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Green Princeton:
By cooperating with all University departments, educating and engaging the campus community, and recommending and facilitating change, Green Princeton pursues this mission and advocates the University’s leadership in environmental responsibility.

Greening Dining:
This group has been collaborating with Campus Dining since 2002 in an effort to adopt more sustainable practices in the dining halls. Together they have worked to develop Campus Dining sustainable practices and policies, including increasing organic and local food options, implementing tray-free dining and ensuring that food waste is sent to local farms or composted.

Princeton Student Climate Initiative:
Formed in 2016, the Princeton Student Climate Initiative aims to provide an outlet for students to learn about, engage with, and have a positive impact on climate-related issues. They research climate change, inform the campus community about important climate issues, host discussions with experts, and advocate for effective technological and political solutions.

Princeton University Farmers’ Market:
The farmers' market was launched in 2007 by Greening Princeton, a student organization devoted to improving environmental sustainability, and is staffed by volunteers from the group. Members of the University and local communities are able to purchase fresh locally grown produce and other goods from area farmers and businesses that use sustainable practices.

Sustainable Engineering and Development Scholars (SEADS):
A sustainable education and outreach organization that is dedicated to providing a structured program for freshman and sophomore scholars to learn more about applied sustainability.

Sustainable Software Initiative:
Founded in 2016, the Sustainable Software Initiative is a project-focused student group - its mission is to leverage the power of software to address sustainability challenges both on Princeton's campus and beyond. SSI's core work is developing software applications, which have included a digital platform for the community solar organization Solstice Initiative, an interactive heatmap of Princeton's electricity use, and a mobile app for students to report wasteful happenings on campus. A key component of SSI's mission is to provide a platform for students to learn software development through hands-on collaborative projects.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Princeton Garden project is a student-run initiative overseen by the Office of Sustainability. The group’s mission is to educate the campus about the American food system and its implications for the environment, health and nutrition, culture and the future.

The garden is maintained by paid student managers throughout the academic year, and by paid interns during the summer. The Project models a sustainable food production system on campus and offers opportunities for all students to engage with the garden through planting and harvesting and attending community-building events. There are two primary garden plots: a 1.5 acre plot north of Forbes College at 79 Alexander Street, and another near the South Patio outside of the Frist Student Center. The produce is regularly provided to dining halls, campus food cooperatives, and special campus events.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Princeton University hosts many conferences, speaker series, and related events throughout the academic year which are targeted to student audiences. A few recent examples that relate to sustainability include:

1. Princeton Studies Food Conference: Held since 2014, the conference is a one day event showcasing food and agricultural systems research and interest at Princeton.

2. PEI Faculty Seminar Series: In 2015, PEI created a new faculty seminar series to present the opportunity for PEI associated faculty to provide insights into their latest environmental research discoveries. Topics include: sea level rise, carbon dioxide sequestration, biodiversity, infectious disease, urban transformation, health and well-being, environmental history, environmental chemistry, and biogeochemistry of the oceans. Four faculty seminars are scheduled for each semester.

3. STEP Seminars: Princeton University's Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) is based in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with strong ties to the Princeton Environmental Institute. STEP offers a lunchtime seminar series during the academic year.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

During the past three years, Princeton has hosted an assortment of cultural arts events that relate to sustainability and have students as the intended audience. The following are recent examples:

1. After the Spectacular Image: Art, Architecture, and the Media of Climate Change: Feb 11-12, 2017. Organized by the Princeton Environmental Institute. Over the past century, image making and visualization practices – in the arts, literature, and the sciences – have formed a cultural infrastructure focused on the relationship between humans, other species, and their environments. Images have, in numerous ways, impacted political and cultural debates about nature, environment, and climate. After the Spectacular Image brought together a group of prominent scholars to examine the rich history of representing climate and its effects. https://environment.princeton.edu/events/asi

2. Art of Environmental Justice in an Expanded Field: A Symposium on Creative Activism and Eco-Politics across Boundaries. This one-day event brought together leading international contemporary artists who engage problems of environmental justice in expansive ways. The purpose: to highlight the critical power of visual art to reimagine the politics of ecology across various boundaries—not just national borders but also socioeconomic classes, identities, disciplines, species, and media. Speakers discussed creative projects that demonstrate the far-reaching capacity of visual art to interpret urgent ecological issues and problems of environmental inequality for a broad public.
https://environment.princeton.edu/calendar/art-environmental-justice-expanded-field-symposium-creative-activism-and-eco-politics

3. Tiger Chef Challenge: Started in 2016, this annual event will includes an Iron Chef-like competition, during which seven teams representing each residential college plus the Graduate College compete to see who has the best plant-based entrée. The 2017 event had a Latin-American inspired themes as well as a sustainability area highlighting vertical gardening, composting, waste oil recycling and more.

4. Earth Day Celebration: For several years, students have organized an Earth Day Celebration featuring a wide assortment of student dancers, musicians, and improv comedy troupes. Some of the performers altered their usual set to include entertainment specifically related to sustainability.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Outdoor Action (OA) Freshman Trip Program is Princeton's oldest and largest pre-orientation program for incoming freshmen. The OA Frosh Trip is a six-day outdoor trip held the week prior to Orientation Week. The trip follows Leave No Trace principles and has grown to include participation from over 50 percent of each incoming class. Each year, more than 100 new student leaders are trained in Leave No Trace Practices through the University’s partnership with the national Leave No Trace Organization. Student leaders then provide instruction to over 700 students annually in the practices.
Additionally, in 2016, the Community Action Frosh Trip program expanded to incorporate a partnership with the Poconos Environmental Education Center (PEEC) which incorporated Leave No Practices principles into a week-long sustainability themed orientation for 144 students.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
No

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Princeton offers students many sustainability-focused student employment opportunities.

For example, the Office of Sustainability hires paid student interns to supplement and develop a variety of Office activities and initiatives. Current internships focus in art, communications, peer-to-peer education, sustainable food education and production, green tours, performance tracking, and videography. (http://sustain.princeton.edu/jobs)

Additionally, the Princeton Environmental Institute offers undergraduate internships designed to complement their academic interests with independent research and project experiences in the summer. (https://environment.princeton.edu/undergrads/internships) The Institute also provides extensive research opportunities to graduate students. (https://environment.princeton.edu/grads/research-opportunities)


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.