Shaping the Future: Top NJ Schools and Districts Recognized with Sustainability Awards

on Oct 28, 2020

Today, Sustainable Jersey announced the recipients of the 2020 Sustainable Jersey for Schools awards which celebrate the outstanding schools and school districts setting the standard for sustainability excellence. The 2020 certified schools and special award recipients are highlighted in the 2020 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Annual Awards Program Book and the 2020 Certification Awards Video Playlist.    Sustainable Jersey for Schools Annual Awards Program Book 2020

The Sustainability Champion Award recognizes schools that were certified this year with the highest number of points in their category: elementary, middle or high school. The baseline bronze-level certification requires a minimum of 150 points. The 2020 Sustainability Champion Award recipients are:

  • SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION - ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Ramtown Elementary School, Howell Township Public School District (Monmouth County) with 435 points. Video: https://youtu.be/me28WBr1mXo

  • SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION - MIDDLE SCHOOL: Winslow Township Middle School, Winslow Township School District (Camden County) with 370 points. Video: https://youtu.be/PJsmY5B5BFw

  • SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION - HIGH SCHOOL: Raritan High School, Hazlet Township Public Schools (Monmouth County) with 360 points. Video: https://youtu.be/ZVSvKb-A9h0

The 2020 Sustainability Makes $ense Award recognizes a district that has made exemplary progress in sustainable practices resulting in cost savings to the school district. The 2020 Sustainability Makes $ense Award recipient is Newark Public Schools in Essex County. Sixty-one schools in Newark Public Schools achieved certification in 2020 and a significant part of their certification applications was the completion of the Energy Efficiency for School Facilities and Energy Tracking & Management actions. Each school completed an energy audit through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) “Local Government Energy Audit (LGEA)” program. The Newark Public School District also instituted an Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. “The project encompasses 63 Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) over 1.4 million square feet. Actions included lighting retrofits, boiler replacement, roof replacement, solar installation, upgrading systems and components to improve the safety of energy use, and performance monitoring. Weequahic High School in particular achieved 30.3 percent energy savings. From 2017-19, the district saved $1.9 million, 4.7 million kWh, and 460,000 therms of gas,” said Newark School District’s Director of Sustainability, Rodney Williams. Video: https://youtu.be/ZjvDHiTzZPg

The 2020 Green Team Collaboration Award recognizes school and municipal green teams working together to advance sustainability in their schools and communities. The 2020 Green Team Collaboration Award recipients are the Egg Harbor Township School District Green Team, the Egg Harbor Township Municipal Green Team and Egg Harbor Township Environmental Commission from Atlantic County. The impressive collaboration efforts to advance sustainability included the Catawba project, the Egg Harbor Municipal Community Teaching Garden tended by Egg Harbor Township school students and the Egg Harbor Township Environmental Commission work-study Eagle Academy projects. Video: https://youtu.be/MyyUN3JoOH0

“This year’s award winners have demonstrated tenacity in the face of obstacles. They are inspiring examples of what is possible when you combine vision, hard work and collaboration,” said Randall Solomon, the executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “We’re proud to recognize the Sustainable Jersey for Schools special award recipients who are helping us rethink, refine and build consensus around the sustainable future we want.”

To date, 969 of New Jersey’s schools have demonstrated their leadership and commitment to sustainability by registering with the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. Award winners are selected from the schools that are certified in the designated award year. In lieu of an in-person ceremony this year, Sustainable Jersey for Schools is acknowledging the winners with a virtual ceremony and on social media; look for the ceremony and individual videos at @SJ_Schools on Twitter and @SustainableJersey on Facebook.

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