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TCNJ wins funding for sustainability initiative

TCNJ is one of 10 colleges/universities recently awarded a pro bono consulting opportunity that will help advance sustainability and climate projects on campus.

Second Nature, a Boston-based NGO whose mission it is to accelerate climate action in, and through, higher education, issued this opportunity that is being provided and sponsored by Brailsford & Dunlavey and CustomerFirst Renewables.

The goal of this effort is to help the winning campuses reduce or eliminate their CO2 emissions while also minimizing operating costs or achieving other objectives. At each campus, the technical assistance will be worth between $7,500 and $10,000.

“The College of New Jersey is committed to reducing our impact on climate through the shrinking of our carbon footprint,” said TCNJ President Kathryn Foster. “Foremost in our strategy is replacing fossil fuel consumption with renewable energy options, including solar. We applaud Second Nature’s advocacy on campuses nationwide, and are proud to be included in the group of institutions receiving pro bono planning services from CustomerFirst Renewables.”

The award will allow TCNJ to move ahead with “The Carbon Neutral Journey,” an initiative intended to engage an engineering firm in the development of a plan to achieve carbon neutrality for on-campus energy systems by 2040.

With this award, TCNJ plans to convert its existing steam heating plant to hot water, says Mike Dixon, special assistant to President Foster who focuses on energy and sustainability.

“The existing steam distribution system suffers from significant deferred renewal, so the plan is intended to address that problem as well as the heating source. With the technical support from this award, the college will begin developing a plan to phase out the existing boilers and cogeneration system, and convert the steam distribution system to hot water.”

The pro bono opportunity (announced last fall) was open to higher education institutions that are affiliated with Second Nature as Climate Leadership Network signatories and/or University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) members.

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