Sustainability Initiatives


Stevens is continually evaluating different ways to reduce energy consumption and its carbon footprint. At the core of that is the prioritization of improving energy efficiency of the buildings, while making sure to provide sufficient heating and cooling to the campus year-round. LED lighting retrofits, on-site solar PV arrays, purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, and cogeneration units are some of the strategies being employed as part of that goal.

Stevens Institute of Technology Achieves 100% Zero Emissions Renewable Electricity in Fiscal Year 2019

Stevens Institute of Technology has advanced its sustainability strategy with a purchase of Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates or “Green-e RECs”. A Green-e certification includes an independent verification of eligible renewable energy generation as determined by the Center for Resource Solutions. As a result of this purchase, Stevens has achieved 100% renewable, zero emissions for reported electricity usage in fiscal 2019 for the entirety of its Hoboken campus operations.


Many of Stevens’ buildings employ cogeneration units - a high efficiency system that takes a natural gas input to make both electricity and hot water (through waste heat recovery) which provides a higher level of efficiency than producing each individually.

On-site Renewable Generation

Stevens has rooftop solar PV arrays on Schaefer Athletic Center, Williams Library, and Jonas Hall, and ground-mount arrays in the 8th Street parking lot, as well as behind Davidson Lab.


Stevens’ waste hauler collects co-mingled, or single stream, recycling. Recyclables of different materials are collected in one bin, then sorted at the recycling facility. Materials that can be recycled in the marked bins around campus are:

  • Paper

  • Cardboard

  • Glass

  • Aluminum

  • Plastic (#1 and #2 only)

Plastic shopping bags, plastic films and wrappers, Styrofoam, food waste, and ceramics DO NOT belong in these bins. Plastic shopping bags can be recycled in collection bins at any retail store that provides them (e.g., grocery stores and drug stores).

Wood, metal, and electronics are also collected at the Griffith building for recycling. E-waste is picked up twice a year and brought to the local Regentech recycling plant in Paterson, NJ.

Campus Race to Zero Waste

Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.

National recognition is provided to the winning school in each category on the Campus Race to Zero Waste website and in a national press release. Winning schools receive an award made out of recyclable materials, and win the right to host that category’s special traveling trophy for the coming year.

The competition is an 8-week program starting in early February each year. Stevens regularly competes in two categories: Diversion, which measures how much trash, recyclables (paper, cardboard and cans and bottles) and food waste they divert from landfills; and Per Capita Classic, which looks at who collects the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per person basis.

Reducing Single-Use Plastics

Thanks to funding from the Residence Life Office, 23 water bottle refill stations have been installed throughout campus buildings, which have helped divert over 500,000 single-use bottles from landfills. Buy a reusable water bottle from the Campus Store and say no to single use plastics.

Stevens also complies with the ordinance passed by the City of Hoboken, placing a ban on single use plastic carry-out bags at retail and food establishments. The law states: “Retail and food establishments shall no longer provide single use plastic carry-out bags to customers. Instead, retail and food establishments shall encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags, and make paper bags available to customers for a fee of 10-25 cents per bag."

Water Conservation

The Division of Facilities and Campus Operations is always looking for ways to reduce water consumption on campus. A new chiller was installed in Burchard that has a recirculating system for condenser water compared to the previous, single-pass system. This has the potential to save more than 1.3 million gallons of potable water each year. Three smaller chillers were also piped into that system, which will double the water savings.

All new construction has toilets and sinks that meet EPA Waterwise standards.

Stormwater Management

Positioned along the Hudson River, Stevens plays a critical role in managing stormwater runoff, and has implemented many green infrastructure practices. For example, the North Building is now home to the Living Laboratory for Stormwater Green Infrastructure (GI), a research and demonstration site.

With 47 individual GI systems, custom-built from the ground up to measure real-world results, the Living Laboratory is dedicated to engineering GI solutions for urban stormwater challenges. The Living Laboratory’s current inventory includes 4 bioretention planters, 38 pilot-scale green roof systems (plus 2 “conventional” pilot-scale roofs), and 3 rain gardens, along with ~100 sensors. Generating quantitative hydrologic and water quality performance data to advance GI design, modeling, and policy is at the heart of the Living Laboratory. Multi-disciplinary efforts engage Software Engineers for Big Data manipulation and Stevens’ Center for Innovation in Engineering Science and Education to engage the next generation of sustainable development professionals via K-12 STEM education initiatives.

Stevens and the Living Laboratory is a Regional Center of Living Architecture Excellence, in partnership with the Green Infrastructure Foundation and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

There are additional rain gardens at ABS Engineering Center and 8th Street/Hudson Street.

Food & Dining

Stevens Dining demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through actions such as purchasing locally-grown ingredients, smart repurposing of leftovers and food scraps (for example, using vegetable scraps to make soup stock), providing a high percentage of vegetarian and vegan options, and the availability of a free campus dietician.

Stevens Dining also collects all waste cooking oil and sends it to a facility to be reprocessed into biodiesel, with over 5,294 lbs of cooking oil processed per year. The GHG emissions impact for diverting this waster is the same as taking 2 cars off the road each year.

In efforts to raise awareness of the global food waste crisis, Stevens Dining participates in Stop Food Waste Day.


Stevens sources select products from local vendors as well as purchasing from locally sourced businesses. Through sustainable purchasing, Stevens contributes to reduced fuel emissions to transport products, increased local economies, and improved relationships with suppliers. For transparency, Stevens explicitly states where furniture and finishes are purchased.

Purchasing Standards

Stevens seeks to create a healthy, sustainable and productive work environment. Campus purchasing standards include:

  • Preference for purchasing electronics which are EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) certified

  • Preference for purchasing goods and services from businesses located within 250 miles of Stevens

  • Preference for purchasing recycled office paper that is Forest Stewardship Council certified over virgin paper (paper that has not been recycled before)

  • Preference for purchasing low VOC paint and furnishings

  • Preference for purchasing Green Seal certified janitorial products

  • Purchasing only tree-free restroom paper products

  • New furniture and finishes will incorporate standards from:

    • Cradle to Cradle Certification: Assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment for present and future life cycles

    • Scientific Certification Sciences Indoor Advantage Certification: Meets strict IAQ (indoor air quality) emission limits to support a healthy indoor environment

    • Greenguard Environmental Institute: Certifies product and materials for low chemical and particulate emissions for a healthier environment

    • Forest Stewardship Council: Verified from forest of origin through supply chain ensuring product is from reasonably harvested sources