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ASU named one of nation's 'greenest' universities

July 24, 2009

Arizona State University has been named one of the nation's "greenest" universities by The Princeton Review in its second annual rating of environmentally friendly institutions. This is the second year in a row that ASU made the list.

The Princeton Review named 15 colleges to its "2010 Green Rating Honor Roll" – a list that salutes the institutions that received the highest possible score, 99, in this year's rating tallies.

In addition to ASU, 14 other colleges were named to the honor role including (in alphabetical order):

•    Bates College (Lewiston, ME)
•    Binghamton University (State Univ. of New York at Binghamton)
•    College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME)
•    Colorado College (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
•    Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa.)
•    Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
•    Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
•    Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.)
•    Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.)
•    Northeastern University (Boston)
•    University of California - Berkeley
•    University of New Hampshire (Durham)
•    University of Washington (Seattle)
•    Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

The Green Ratings of Colleges measures how eco-friendly the institutions are on a scale of 60 to 99. The company tallied its Green Ratings for 697 institutions based on data it collected from the colleges in 2008-2009 concerning their environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings.  

The Green Rating scores appear in the Web site profiles of the schools that are posted at The Princeton Review today.

"Arizona State University is honored by this recognition," says Rob Melnick, the executive dean of the Global Institute of Sustainability. "We are thrilled to be among the leaders of the nation's growing number of higher education institutions that understand the critically important responsibility colleges and universities have in addressing the local and global challenges of sustainability. The Global Institute of Sustainability and School of Sustainability exemplify ASU's commitment to education, discovery and innovation that will rise to these challenges. Being named to the Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll is very gratifying recognition of the efforts of ASU students, faculty and staff and ASU's Board of Trustees for Sustainability."

The Princeton Review developed the Green Rating in consultation with ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental organization. The criteria for the rating 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 10 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.

The Princeton Review has dedicated a resource area on its Web site for students and others interested in learning more about the rating and the benefits of attending a "green" college. The area has information on colleges with exemplary environmental programs, questions to ask on school visits, and links to organizations that promote higher education and campus sustainability programs.

"The 'green' movement on college campuses is far more than an Earth Day recycling project," says Robert Franek, the vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review. "It is growing tremendously among students and administrators alike. This year, we saw a 30 percent increase in the number of colleges participating in our Green Rating survey. Many have shown extraordinary commitments to environmental issues and to the environment in their practices and programs."

Franek notes the rising interest among students in attending colleges that practice, teach and support environmentally responsible choices.  Among almost 16,000 college applicants and parents of applicants who The Princeton Review surveyed this year for its annual "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 66 percent of respondents overall (and 68 percent of students vs. 59 percent of parents) said they would value having information about a college's commitment to the environment – a 4 percent increase from last year's respondents. Among that cohort, 24 percent of respondents overall (26 percent of students vs. 18 percent of parents) said such information would "very much" impact their (their child's) decision to apply to or attend the school.