The PSEG Foundation has committed $605,000 for sustainability initiatives championed by Northeastern non-profits. The announcement marks a significant amount of funding from well-known energy company PSEG for philanthropic initiatives that are teaching people about the value of economic, environmental and social responsibility.
"Earth Day is no longer just about the environment. It's grown into a sustainability celebration," said Vaughn McKoy, PSEG's director of corporate responsibility and sustainability, and president of the PSEG Foundation. "Responsible organizations and leaders know that the only way to long-term success and viability is through taking a balanced approach to people, planet and profits."
$150,000 over two years to Sustainable Jersey, a program that is helping New Jersey communities go green, control costs and take steps to maintain their long-term quality of life for residents by giving leaders guidance, training and technical support to help them implement a sustainable development agenda. It is helping communities with solar and wind projects, rain capture and reuse efforts, walking and biking programs, building and operating community food gardens, launching community outreach programs on recycling and energy, among other initiatives.
A specific amount of PSEG's funding will be directed toward towns in Southern New Jersey, since initial feedback indicates that rural and less resourced communities in this region are facing program participation challenges.
$400,000 over three years for the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University. PSEG's funding will allow Montclair State to host a significant examination of the major issues affecting long-term environmental practices and sustainability issues in New Jersey and spur new partnerships between academia, industry and community. It will fund a program that will begin with a major international conference on sustainability this fall, followed by two years of research to address critical issues, and include a second conference addressing areas requiring further research.
The institute will conduct research, education and outreach in an effort to balance preservation of Earth's life support systems with its production of sustainable goods and services. Working with the public, industry decision-makers planners and environmental managers, the University will incorporate these concepts into its approach to researching the management of urban watershed-coastal ecosystems.
$30,000 to Bridgeport Sustainability Initiative BGreen 2020, a comprehensive sustainability initiative intended to develop programs and policies that move Connecticut's largest city toward environmental, social, and economic sustainability. B-Green 2020 is working to develop immediate and longer term programs which will reduce the city's carbon footprint while growing its economy. To do this, it plans to limit mobile emissions through the provision of transportation alternatives and an emphasis on transit-oriented development, to remediate brownfields and reactivate vacant land as the foundation to vibrant neighborhoods and a growing tax base, to expand the city's recycling capacity and divert more waste from landfills and the waste to energy facility, and importantly to identify opportunities to reduce energy demand through green buildings and meet supply through renewable alternatives.
Burdened by a notable industrial past, declining population and job markets, and numerous instances of environmental injustice, Bridgeport faces significant challenges in steering a course toward sustainable living. BGreen 2020 intends to change the image of the city by positioning it as one that is green, clean and safe.
$25,000 to Clean Air Cool Planet for their Climate Change Backpack, which includes climate change lesson plans and props for educators. Through environmental education for youth, the nonprofit hopes to create a new generation of environmental stewards who will make lifelong contributions to the kind of community greening programs that PSEG supports.
PSEG funds will be used to fund the staff time and travel costs necessary to promote and present five training workshops throughout the State of New Jersey, field educator inquiries and distribute backpacks. Funding will also go towards subsidizing the costs of training for educators who could not otherwise afford to attend.
PSEG is a publicly traded diversified energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, and one of the ten largest electric companies in the U.S. PSEG has been listed numerous times on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and is committed to economic, environmental and social responsibility.