William Paterson University Receives “Green School” Distinction from The Princeton Review for being Environmentally Friendly

One of the campus solar installations, this one atop the Recreation Center and a nearby parking lot

William Paterson University has been recognized as an environmentally friendly school by The Princeton Review and is included in its “Guide to Green Schools: 2023.”

The University’s dedication to sustainability extends back more than a decade and includes a commitment to become a fully green institution through conservation, efficiency, and education.

The William Paterson campus boasts one of the largest solar panel installations on a U.S. college campus. Ranked in the Top 10 largest solar installations of all four-year colleges/universities nationwide, our solar panels generate 3.3 megawatts of energy, or approximately 11 percent of the institution’s energy needs, for a cost savings of approximately $1.5 million since the panels were installed in 2010.

Additionally, campus construction and renovation projects are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Recent examples include University Hall—an academic building that received a 2017 LEED Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council— and the Pioneer Parking Garage—honored with a Green Building Design Award from the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and an honorable mention from the New Jersey Green Building Council.

Some additional sustainability highlights at William Paterson University:

  • A single-stream recycling program which, in 2021, led to the campus recycling more than 200 tons of aluminum, cardboard/paper, concrete, scrap metals, plastics, glass, and wood; receptacles are placed in common areas in all buildings on campus
  • Installation of filtered water fountains in buildings across campus, made for filling reusable water containers, have to a decreased use of plastic water bottles among students, faculty, and staff
  • Fifteen electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the campus that provide free electricity in dedicated parking spaces
  • A campus-wide Green Team, comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators, engages the University community and advises the University president and senior administration on all matters of sustainability 

As part of its commitment to sustainability, William Paterson University also created an academic department in environmental science, offering bachelor’s degree programs in environmental sustainability, environmental science, and Earth science.

The department well-positions students for employment through its strong focus on hands-on learning in coursework, a required internship or field experience, and a senior practicum that simulates the working conditions of a professional consulting team.

Moreover, environmental science students are encouraged to perform laboratory and field research alongside the department’s active and highly regarded faculty, and they benefit from the numerous natural resources on our campus, which include three ponds and the adjacent 1,200-acre High Mountain Park Preserve, as well as our partnership with the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, located just three miles from our campus.

The Princeton Review measures a college’s performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution based on how environmentally responsible a school's practices are, and such factors as whether students have a campus quality of life that is both healthy and sustainable and how well the school is preparing students for employment in the clean-energy economy of the 21st century as well as for citizenship in a world defined by environmental concerns and opportunities.