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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.