Skip to main content

ASU named one of nation's most sustainable colleges

volunteers harvesting oranges on the ASU campus
April 21, 2014

Arizona State University has been named one of the nation’s most sustainable colleges for the fifth consecutive year in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges. The annual guidebook measures the commitment to environment and sustainability by four-year colleges across the United States.

In this year’s green rating, ASU was commended for its:

• generation of more than 23 megawatts of solar power for university use through 81 solar panel installations across its four campuses

• commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

• investments in energy conservation projects that pay for themselves in utility savings

• encouragment of energy efficient, LEED-certified construction on its various campuses

Statistics cited are from the time of review. Updated information is available at the ASU Solar website.

The report also lauded ASU’s Campus Harvest program. Fruit, nuts and herbs grown on university campuses are used in cafeteria food or sold at various campus farmers markets. In addition, four of ASU’s dining halls have adopted a zero-waste philosophy. More than 30 tons of food scraps are diverted away from the landfill into compost operations every month.

To encourage transportation alternatives, ASU has implemented the subsidized U-Pass program, which offers unlimited rides on area buses and light rail. A university bicycle co-op also offers maintenance and parts and accessories at a discounted cost.

The Princeton Review's Green Rating criteria cover three 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

3. the school's overall commitment to environmental issues

The institutional survey for the Princeton rating included questions on energy use, recycling, food, buildings and transportation, as well as academic offerings and action plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Rob Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, noted that his company's recent survey findings indicated significant interest among college applicants in attending "green" colleges.

"Among 10,116 college applicants who participated in our 2014 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' 61 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school," he said.

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges is published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)'s Center for Green Schools and is the only free, comprehensive guide that focuses solely on colleges that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment and to sustainability. The guide is available online at: