WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ — College campuses are often venues for progressive ideas, and that’s certainly the case at Monmouth University as the school strives to enhance its environmental commitments through an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agreement, a memorandum of understanding signed Jan. 16 by university and EPA officials, outlines goals to improve the school’s energy, water and fuel use, waste disposal and landscaping.
“Monmouth University is already a leader among institutions of higher education regarding environmental commitments,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “This agreement with EPA will strengthen those commitments and identify areas in which the school can do even more to reduce its carbon footprint.”
"Monmouth University is proud to enhance its commitment to a greener, cleaner campus for all of its students, faculty and staff, as well as the surrounding community," said Monmouth University President Paul G. Gaffney II. "This agreement will yield results in the near term, but it also stands to help make Monmouth a better place to learn and live for the future."
Monmouth will join several of EPA’s voluntary programs, which provide trainings, online tools and technical support from EPA experts to program partners. Monmouth will report the progress of its goals to EPA every six months. Based on the reports, EPA will quantify the benefits of the school’s environmental efforts.
Through the agreement, Monmouth will enhance its commitments in the following areas:
· Clean energy: In 2005, Monmouth installed the largest solar power project at a university east of the Mississippi. Through EPA’s Green Power partnership, the school will explore options to increase the amount of green energy it uses.
· Energy efficiency: Monmouth has already taken steps to reduce energy usage across its campus, like installing energy efficient lighting in many buildings and dormitory roofs that absorb less heat. Through EPA’s ENERGY STAR partnership, which includes recommendations specifically for colleges and universities, Monmouth will reduce energy use across campus by an additional 10 percent.
· Water efficiency: Through EPA’s WaterSense program, Monmouth will install water-saving fixtures and appliances where possible. It will also educate students, faculty and staff about how to better conserve water. A WaterSense labeled fixture saves an estimated 11,000 gallons of water per year.
· Recycling and Waste Reduction: Monmouth already participates in EPA’s national Recycle Mania competition for colleges and universities, and it employs myriad recycling and waste reduction programs on its campuses. Through this agreement, Monmouth will join EPA’s WasteWise program, and will reduce waste, increase recycling, and utilize the program’s tools for streamlining material use and waste reduction.
· Cleaner vehicles and construction: Through EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign and Clean Construction USA program, Monmouth will learn how to further reduce emissions from vehicles and construction equipment on campus. The school will reduce idling from its fleet of vehicles and require the use of clean diesel-powered equipment at future campus construction projects.
· Landscaping: Monmouth will join EPA’s GreenScapes program, through which it will look to adopt more sustainable landscaping practices like reusing and recycling landscape waste, reusing industrial materials for landscaping, and planting drought resistant trees and plants.
· Composting: Monmouth will develop plans to compost campus food waste either on campus or at an off-site location.
EPA has established an agreement similar to those with Monmouth and Montclair State with St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., as well as with the New York Mets for the team’s new Citi Field stadium, the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield and the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, N.Y.
Monmouth University, founded in 1933, is a private university and some 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend the school. Its Web site is http://www.monmouth.edu.
For more information on EPA’s voluntary programs like the ones incorporated in the Monmouth agreement, visit http://www.epa.gov/partners/.