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PPS Sustainability Initiatives  

A wide variety of sustainability-related learning experiences are woven into the everyday culture and the curriculum throughout the district. Please review the following areas in which we’ve already made progress.

District-wide Programs & School Board Policies


  • The district is now using EnergySTAR Performance Manager to monitor its energy and natural gas use and track the progress of energy efficiency upgrades.

  • In 2021, all four elementary schools received substantial upgrades to bring in more energy-efficient lighting and HVAC that are anticipated to lower the district’s utility costs.

  • The district is evaluating opportunities to use an Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP) to finance energy efficiency improvements at PHS and PMS with no upfront costs.  An ESIP is a financing mechanism that allows schools in NJ to make energy-related improvements to their facilities using the value of energy savings that result from the improvements.

  • After roof work is completed in 2024, the district is eager to bring solar panels to the schools via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Most schools utilize a PPA to get solar because it avoids a capital expenditure or a referendum.


  • In 2022, the district surveyed staff to determine which school(s) have staff with the most interest in purchasing or leasing electric vehicles. A total of 182 persons responded and demonstrated strong support for the district to seek grants and funds to bring EV charging to employees. Please review the survey results here.

  • The district continues to seek grants and other funding opportunities that can bring EV charging to one or more locations. 

  • The district continues to seek grants and other opportunities that could allow it to electrify its fleet. For example, it applied for the Mid-Atlantic Electric School Bus Experience Project, in the hopes of giving the community the chance to experience an electric school bus.

Natural Resources

  • With the 2018 referendum, the district expanded an additional retention basin to at least partially mitigate future flooding around the Performing Arts Center at Princeton High School.

  • The district is considering a number of different strategies for maintaining this storm basin, as well as the PHS EcoLab and other basins. 

  • In partnership with the Municipality of Princeton, the district received a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the Gardinier Environmental Fund to explore the transition from gas-powered landscaping equipment.

  • As part of this grant, the grounds crew received a new battery-powered backpack leaf blower and are providing feedback on its usefulness. 

Materials Management

  • Beginning in the Fall of 2021 the district resumed food waste collection for all six schools. Currently, Trenton Biogas accepts PPS food scraps and converts it into renewable energy.

  • In the summer of 2022, the district transitioned to greener cleaning with six different cleaning products. The floor cleaner, glass cleaner, degreaser, hand soap, paper towels, and toilet paper used within PPS are all certified by Green Seal, indicating that they meet the highest standard for protecting the health and the environment.