EDITORIAL: U.’s 2030 plan makes for greener future
Changes to Rutgers campus will be environmentally friendly
Rutgers University is hoping to start using energy efficient systems, encouraging alternative transportation that does not burn fossil fuels and reducing its carbon footprint — and it plans to do all of this by 2030.
The 2030 plan, as it is called, is a master plan that is meant to completely overhaul University systems and replace many of the buildings and inner processes that are tiring out. And in making these changes, the University has found the opportunity to right many of the environmental issues that have spurred from the old age of many aspects of the University. This way, the housing, student centers and athletic facilities are not the only things at Rutgers getting upgraded.
One of the main focuses of this plan is taking the initiative in protecting open spaces that the University has, as well as improving access to these areas that are underutilized. In order to do this, the University Facilities and Capital Planning committee is promoting biking and walking instead of driving and eliminating buildings that may no longer serve any use to the University. But that is not all.
The University is sticking to the guidelines set by the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED-rated Silver buildings. These guidelines help reduce the carbon footprint by sourcing materials that are within a 500-mile radius and also using recycled materials during construction. The University as a whole is also focused on using energy that it is already using more efficiently. And even this amount is being reduced. Through plans like implementing 33 acres of solar panels on Livingston campus among other actions, it seems as though the University is putting the environment at the forefront of its future endeavors. And by these standards, Rutgers is going to be a completely renewable and green-friendly campus by the year 2030.
It seems as though Rutgers is truly taking advantage of the chance that it has to “start over” in terms of the layout of its campus. Although the 2030 plan is available online for all students to access and look at, not many members of the Rutgers student body know that it is in the works. Also, for the students who do know a little about the plan, the fact that it is environmentally driven may not be a detail of common knowledge. But it is definitely one that the University and its constituents should be proud of.
It is understandable that the main driving force of the 2030 plan is to improve Rutgers’ appearance and make it a more attractive site, possibly boosting its rankings in terms of campus quality. And the University could have very easily done this without giving environmental issues a second glance. But they did. Part of this is due to the New Brunswick chapter of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) along with other University organizations have been pushing for these changes — and the University is listening. Rutgers has taken into account that it might currently run off of inefficient energy systems, and it is making efforts to rectify this.
The 2030 plan is more than just a blueprint for a more beautiful campus — it is Rutgers’ way of looking ahead to the future. There are certain aspects of the University that members of the Rutgers community have complained about, and these are the things that Rutgers is finally addressing. Although it may be upsetting to some students that they will never get to experience the results of these changes in their own college careers, it is difficult to be upset that the University is finally taking student concerns into account when planning the future.