The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), along with its nonprofit partner TransOptions, is set to award Drew University its highest honor — a platinum rating — for eco-friendly practices and policies related to travel and commuting.
The architect of Drew’s green initiatives, Tina Notas, campus sustainability coordinator, will also be honored as this year’s New Jersey College Champion — a distinction that recognizes her leadership in the university’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint.
Notas says the NJDOT’s platinum rating refers to Drew’s standing in its Smart Workplaces program, which evaluates all professional organizations in the state and assesses their use of public and alternative transportation options.
“Drew is doing a lot to encourage students, faculty and staff to commute to campus in ways that lessen our overall environmental impact,” said Notas. “We give them the tools they need to arrange car pools, use mass transit or bike to campus.”
The university also helped to launch the Madison Avenue Direct, its newest green transportation option, in September.
“The Madison Avenue Direct, or MAD, is a shared, low-cost shuttle service that runs in a continuous loop between Drew, downtown Madison, the College of St. Elizabeth and Fairleigh Dickinson University,” said Notas. “It relieves a lot of the pressure felt by students to have a car of their own and it also creates a physical link between Drew and its higher education neighbors down the road.”
In addition to the array of eco-friendly lifestyle and operations practices at Drew, the university also offers a popular undergraduate major in environmental studies and sustainability. This course of study prepares students to lead scientific research and policy initiatives that benefit the global eco-system.