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Monmouth University received the New Jersey’s Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Leadership on January 29.

Monmouth became the first independent university in New Jersey to sign a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to build a healthy and sustainable campus community. As part of this agreement, the University is aligning its campus planning efforts with the State Development and Redevelopment Plan and Monmouth County’s Growth Management Guide. Monmouth completed installation of a 600 kw solar panel system on seven University buildings in 2012. This system, combined with the panels installed in 2005, will reduce carbon emission by more than 376 tons. The University has a student-sponsored campus rain garden and installed Greenopolis Miser machines, kiosks that reward those who recycle with redeemable points. Monmouth has expanded its recycling program and participates in RecycleMania, a national recycling competition. The University, headed by President Paul G. Gaffney II who is active in national ocean policy matters, was featured in the 2012 Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges.

The New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards are the State’s premier environmental awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects in the state. These awards honor and recognize individuals, businesses, educators, institutions, communities, youth and others who have made significant contributions to environmental protection in New Jersey.

The awards program is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.