|April 20, 2010|
Union named one of nation's "greenest" colleges
Union is among the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s first “Guide to Green Colleges.”
The free guide, produced in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, includes schools who have “demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.”
Students and faculty prepare Octopus's Garden, Union's organic community garden.
Published in time for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on Thursday, April 22, the guide is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide. Data examined include institutional commitment to LEED building certification, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, recycling and conservation programs, and more.
The 286 colleges were selected based on “green rating” scores they received in summer 2009 in The Princeton Review’s online profiles and annual guidebooks. Union received a rating of 85 (on a scale of 60-99) in The Princeton Review’s Best 371 Colleges. All of the campuses in the green guide were rated in the 80th percentile or higher.
Union was cited for the work of its U Sustain Committee, made up of about 70 environmentally and socially concerned students, faculty and staff who steward the College’s sustainability initiatives.
Among the highlights are the College’s Presidential Green Grants, aimed at supporting environmentally sustainable projects at Union; Octopus’s Garden, Union’s organic community garden; and the school’s commitment to wind power.
In 2007, President Stephen C. Ainlay was among the first to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), pledging to formally work on reducing, and eventually eliminating, campus global warming emissions.
“Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review.
“According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this guide to help them evaluate how institutions like Union focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”
To download the free guide, including Union’s profile, click here.
To learn more about the College’s sustainability efforts, click here.