on Nov 14, 2013
$50,000 commitment will help develop sustainability certification program for schools
Today Sustainable Jersey announced that New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) will join NJM Insurance Company as a founding sponsor for the new Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. NJNG’s $50,000 commitment will contribute to the development of a sustainability certification program called “Sustainable Jersey for Schools,” designed specifically for New Jersey’s traditional public school districts and public charter schools. The program will begin in 2014.
Based on the highly successful Sustainable Jersey certification program for municipalities (70% of New Jersey municipalities are participating), Sustainable Jersey for Schools will provide specific guidance and resources to schools on developing comprehensive sustainability programs. Participating schools will earn points for certain actions, such as performing energy audits, establishing sustainability curriculum, and boosting recycling efforts.
The program will help schools improve efficiency, cut waste and contribute to students’ education in the key areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, often referred to as “STEM education.” “The visionary support of this program by New Jersey Natural Gas is another step forward in our goal to make a measurable impact on the future sustainability of our state,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “Sustainable Jersey for Schools will offer our state’s 2,500 public schools resources to help them attain significant environmental, academic, financial and health benefits.”
NJNG is the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources a Fortune 1000 company that provides safe and reliable natural gas and clean energy services. NJNG serves nearly half a million customers in New Jersey's Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Morris counties. "At NJNG, caring about the environment is fundamental to our business. Working with Sustainable Jersey for Schools gives us the opportunity to spread our Conserve to Preserve message – that we all need to make wise energy decisions to save energy and money now and preserve our environment for generations to come,” said Kathleen T. Ellis, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of New Jersey Natural Gas.
New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) is the program underwriter for Sustainable Jersey for Schools. “Sustainable Jersey for Schools will enable local boards of education to take a leadership role alongside municipalities in sustainable practices. It represents a major goal of the NJSBA because the link between sustainability and school districts will ultimately reach into the classroom, with benefits to our students’ physical and academic well-being,” said Dr. Lawrence Feinsod, executive director, NJSBA. “Through Sustainable Jersey for Schools, districts will be able to apply existing efforts to a certification program that is based on their mission, their experience and their individual needs. Participating schools will earn certification for activities that reduce waste, improve efficiency, and contribute to our students’ education in STEM. Sustainability practices can advance our schools financially and educationally. And the new Sustainable Jersey for Schools program has the potential to be a major factor in helping our schools reach this important goal.” To develop the program content and certification framework for Sustainable Jersey for Schools, NJSBA and Sustainable Jersey are building a comprehensive coalition of educational organizations and academic, business and state agency partners.