Eastern Connecticut State University is one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com).
The education services company released its fourth annual edition of "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges" on April 16, and chose the schools selected for the guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted in 2012 of hundreds of four-year colleges. The company analyzed data from the survey about the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.
The 322 school profiles in the guide feature essential information for student applicants -- facts and statistics on school demographics, admission and financial aid -- plus write-ups on the schools' sustainability initiatives. A "Green Facts" sidebar reports on a wide range of topics from the school's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs. Of the 806 schools that reported Green Rating scores in 2012, the 322 schools chosen for this guide earned scores of 83 or higher. Eastern earned a green rating score of 86.
In the guide's profile on Eastern, The Princeton Review highlights Eastern's Climate Action Plan, detailing its commitment to achieving a zero carbon footprint by 2050, citing Eastern's effort to create a campus-wide culture of sustainability through green operational initiatives; green-minded education for first-year students; and its Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability Energy Studies majors.
"We are honored that The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council recognize Eastern's campus-wide commitment to green education," said Eastern President Elsa Nunez. "Our Green Campus Initiative commits the campus community to lowering energy use, reducing water waste, improving recycling and procurement of environmentally safe materials. Ten percent of the campus energy consumption is derived from renewable resources, including geothermal, solar power, biofuel and purchased electricity from renewable sources. The campus also boasts four LEED-certified buildings, including a LEED Silver Science Building, featuring daylight harvesting, a gray water system, recycled flooring, native plants and a bio-filter system to reduce rainwater runoff. Eastern's Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) addresses energy issues in our region by supporting the development of sound public energy policy, providing K-12 energy education and professional development and solutions to community resource issues."
Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, said, "We are truly pleased to recommend Eastern along with all of the fine schools in this book to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices."
Franek noted his company's recent survey findings that indicate significant interest among college applicants in attending "green" colleges. "Among 9,955 college applicants who participated in our 2013 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' 62 percent said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school."
The Princeton Review created its "Guide to 322 Green Colleges" in partnership with the Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org) at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)), with generous support from United Technologies Corp. (www.utc.com), founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.
Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, commented, "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. 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."