ASU named one of nation's 'greenest' universities
Princeton Review rating based on environmental practices, policies and course offerings
Arizona State University has been named one of the nation's "greenest" universities by The Princeton Review in its first-ever rating of environmentally friendly institutions.
The "2009 Green Rating Honor Roll" is a numerical score on a scale of 60 to 99 that The Princeton Review tallied for 534 colleges and universities based on data it collected from the schools in the 2007-08 academic year concerning their environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings.
The Green Rating scores appear in the website profiles of the 534 schools that posted on The Princeton Review's site (www.PrincetonReview.com) today.
In addition to ASU, 10 other colleges were named to the honor role, receiving scores of 99 (the highest score). These include, in alphabetical order:
• Bates College (Lewiston, Maine)
• Binghamton University (State Univ. of New York at Binghamton)
• College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
• Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.)
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.)
• Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.)
• University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.)
• University of Oregon (Eugene, Ore.)
• University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
• Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
"Being recognized as one of the nation's greenest universities is a proud moment for ASU. It is testament to our faculty, staff and students who have embraced the principles and values of sustainability and worked tirelessly to advance them in their research, teaching and outreach, as well as campus operations," ASU President Michael Crow says. "It also is a tribute to Julie Wrigley, who through her generous gifts, has helped ASU become a bold place that leaps beyond academic tradition to produce knowledge and discover solutions to global problems of sustainability."
With Wrigley's support, ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability was established in 2004 as the hub of the university's sustainability initiatives. The institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers transdisciplinary degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges.
"Since 2004, ASU has been fully engaged in a massive effort to focus the nation's largest university directly down a path toward sustainability in all we do," says Jonathan Fink, The Julie Ann Wrigley Director at ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability and University Sustainability Officer. "With momentum gathering on our current initiatives to deploy solar power on all four campuses, create highly efficient buildings, launch a first-of-its-kind School of Sustainability, and support a transdisciplinary research federation dedicated to finding sustainable solutions for issues of energy, water, urbanization, and climate change, we are justifiably excited about the future both for Arizona and the world."
"ASU and its School of Sustainability have a bold, comprehensive approach to sustainability-related education," says Charles Redman, director of the School of Sustainability. "We are engaged in a global-survival experiment, in a time when sustainable solutions must be envisioned and implemented. While we realize we have a distance to travel to fully reach our goals of educating the first generation of sustainability students, applying advanced research to the grand challenges of sustainability, and operating our campuses with carbon neutrality and zero waste, we are pleased to be recognized for our ambitious vision of the future and our remarkable accomplishments in just a few short years."
The Princeton Review developed the Green Rating in consultation with ecoAmerica (www.ecoamerica.org), a non-profit environmental marketing agency.
The criteria for the rating (which ecoAmerica helped formulate along with the rating's data collection survey and methodology) cover three broad areas: 1) whether the school's students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable, 2) how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and 3) the school's overall commitment to environmental issues.
The institutional survey for the rating included questions on everything from energy use, recycling, food, buildings and transportation to academic offerings (availability of environmental studies degrees and courses) and action plans and goals concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Said Robert Franek, vice president / publisher at The Princeton Review, "The 'green' movement on college campuses is far more than an Earth Day recycling project or a dining hall menu of organic food. The commitment that many colleges and their student bodies have made to environmental issues - indeed, to the environment -- in their practices, use of resources and academic and research programs is truly compelling. We are pleased to play a role in helping students identify, get into, and study at these schools. It is the students of today who will face and hopefully find solutions for the enormous environmental challenges confronting our planet's future. "
Franek noted the rising interest among students in attending schools that practice, teach and support environmentally responsible choices. Among 10,300 college applicants and parents of applicants surveyed by The Princeton Review this year for its annual "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 63 percent of respondents overall said they would value having information about a college's commitment to the environment.
Executive director of ecoAmerica, Lee Bodner, noted "Forward-looking colleges and universities see the alignment between policies that are both good for the environment and good for students. "