NEW YORK — The Princeton Review, an organization providing tutoring and admissions resources for college or college-bound students, released their fourth annual guidebook April 16, highlighting green colleges and their efforts to create a sustainable future.
In collaboration with the Center for Green Schools and the U.S Green Building Council, the free and comprehensive “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition” profiles colleges in the United States and Canada that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability.
"Selecting a four-year college is a big choice. When we learned that the majority of prospective college students factor a school’s commitment to sustainability into their selection criteria, we wanted to ensure we were providing the best information," said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, in a statement. "We’re thrilled to team up with The Princeton Review for the fourth year to offer a guide to help make our future college students’ choices a little easier."
The study provided Green Rating scores for 806 colleges surveyed in July 2012 based upon 10 points of criteria. The more than 50 survey questions posed to school administrators included issues pertaining to local, organic or environmentally preferable food expenditures, offered transit options, available student sustainability committees, if new buildings are required LEED Silver certification, waste-diversion rates, environmental studies programs, environmental literacy requirements, greenhouse gas emissions and climate action plans, renewable energy resources and if the school employs a full-time sustainability officer.
Of the schools rated, 21 schools received a 99 rating on the Green Rating’s 60 to 99 point scale. There was no ranking system in this study.
According to Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher for The Princeton Review, of the nearly 10,000 students who participated in the 2013 “College Hopes and Worries Survey”, 62 percent of college applicants said that a school’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision as to which schools to apply to.
"We recommend these schools to all students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices, and we commend USGBC and United Technologies Corp. for their continuing support to make this unique resource available for students," he said.
The guide, which began publishing annually in 2010, also provides a glossary of 40 green terms, school profiles, a list of schools with LEED certified buildings and advice on green campus living.
“Colleges train the next generation of leaders who will ultimately be responsible for putting green ideas into practice,” the study said. “By infusing sustainability principles into every aspect of higher education, there is a new priority for a whole generation of leaders, educated and trained, to make a greener world now.”