December 05, 2008
James P. Pellow, Ed.D., St. John’s University’s Executive
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer signed a historic Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) on December 5 with Alan J. Steinberg,
Regional Administrator of Region II for the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to reduce its environmental
impacts by adopting sustainable practices and joining EPA
“Today marks the beginning of what promises to be a
fruitful collaboration with St. John’s. One thing we’ve learned
long ago when it comes to improving the environment is that
partnerships are the key,” said Steinberg. “By partnerships I don’t
mean just between federal and state governments, I mean
partnerships with the greater community, the business community,
the non-governmental agencies and above all the academic
communities – because you are tasked with the mission of educating
the next generation to improve environmental awareness and
St. John’s is no stranger to environmental practices. The
University was lauded with a Gold Star in a recent press conference
held by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in October for
accelerating its greenhouse gas reduction plan to reach its 30%
decrease target by the year 2013, as part of St. John’s
participation in the “PLANYC 2030 Challenge.”
are excited to have been selected as the first private university
in the country for this unique partnership. This program will
further help focus St. John’s in pursuing all avenues to make
sustainability and carbon reduction a part of the student education
and the student learning experience,” said Dr. Pellow. “This
program will, most importantly, help to incorporate those
initiatives into our organizational culture and change the way we
behave at St. John’s.” St. John’s and the EPA have lofty goals for
the agreement that include:
- Reducing the energy consumed by the school’s buildings and
plants by at least 10 percent and creating a university energy
plan, through membership in EPA’s EnergyStar program.
- Adopting water conservation and material re-use strategies
guided by EPA’s GreenScapes landscaping program.
- Conducting an energy audit of the St. Albert Hall laboratory
(at St. John’s Queens campus) and reducing its energy needs through
EPA’s Labs 21 program.
- Continuing to incorporate strategies and tools to reduce waste
and increase recycling under EPA’s WasteWise program, of which the
school has been a partner since 2003.
- Increasing the amount of coal combustion construction
materials, which requires less energy to produce than traditional
concrete, to 50 percent at several campus projects through EPA’s
Coal Combustion Products Partnership.
- Developing a plan for a combined heat and power generation
plant, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by generating
power from cleaner sources like natural gas, biomass and biogas.
For this, St. John’s will consult with EPA’s Combined Heat and
- Purchasing hybrid vehicles for campus patrol, continuing to
only use low-sulfur diesel shuttle buses, maintaining the campus
idling policy and adopting strategies to reduce emissions from
construction vehicles through EPA’s Clean Construction USA
- Enhancing the monitoring of water usage, developing
recommendations to it, installing waterless urinals at select
locations, and consulting with EPA’s WaterSense program for other
- Considering the development of a university food waste
composting program and the use of alternative energy.
St. John’s will report the progress on its goals to EPA every
six months. Based on the reports, EPA will quantify the benefits of
the school’s environmental efforts. EPA has similar agreements in
place with the New York Mets for the team’s new Citi Field stadium,
the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, N.Y., and Montclair State
University in Montclair, N.J.
For more information contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice
President for Media Relations by calling (718) 990-6185 or e-mail
inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on EPA’s voluntary programs like the ones
incorporated in the St. John’s agreement, visit http://www.epa.gov/partners/.
For more information on sustainability in the New York metropolitan
area, visit: http://epa.gov/region2/sustainability/index.html.