POTSDAM - The Princeton Review rated Clarkson University as one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges on Wednesday.
The rating was announced with the release of the Princeton Review's free downloadable book, "The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition." The guide does not give a hierarchical ranking of institutions but rather aims to highlight the 311 campuses around the country that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability.
'We've worked really hard this past year to raise awareness and to get everybody on board," said Susan E. Powers, associate director of sustainability for Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment. "We've really had an opportunity to engage the campus community in dialogue between faculty, staff, and students."
To produce the Guide to Green Colleges, the Princeton Review worked with ecoAmerica, an environmental nonprofit research organization, and the United States Green Building Council, which developed the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design green building certification. Clarkson's inclusion in the 2011 guide was based on a survey completed by the university about a year ago.
"The university has recently expanded its recycling program to include electronic waste like computers and monitors, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, ballasts, scrap metal, tires, and used oil and anti-freeze," said the Princeton Review about Clarkson's green policies. "Other on-campus organizations like Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design give students hands-on opportunities to design eco-friendly homes, build electric cars, and assist with research on the factors required to install a wind turbine on campus."
Additional recent sustainability achievements at Clarkson include a commitment to pursue LEED Silver certification on all current and future construction projects, a "No Styrofoam" policy, designation of "forever wild" areas on campus, and a student-run iniatitive to collect and redistribute furniture and clothing discarded at the end of the semester.
According to Ms. Powers, the university has made a great deal of progress since the Princeton Review survey was completed in 2010. While last year's improvements focused largely on infrastructure and facilities, this year's attention was directed at engaging the university community and ensuring that sustainable practices were being incorporated into every aspect of campus life.
"We've continued to make a lot of progress, and I think it's really making a difference on campus," Ms. Powers said. "We're trying to engage offices on campus to look at their procedures and processes and evaluate their own sustainability."
To download the free Princeton Review guide, visit its website. For more information about Clarkson's sustainability efforts, visit the university's website.
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