Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn: -- For the fifth consecutive year, Eastern Connecticut State University is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United State and Canada, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and The Princeton Review. Eastern is profiled in the fifth annual edition of the free downloadable guide, "The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges."
The Princeton Review chose the 332 schools in the guide based on a survey it conducted in 2013 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges to measure their commitment to the environment and sustainability. The institutional survey included questions on the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
The 216-page guide is the only free comprehensive resource of its kind: it can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide. The Princeton Review created the "Guide to 332 Green Colleges" in partnership with the USGBC's Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org).
The 322 school profiles in the guide feature essential information for 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.
The guide's profile on Eastern highlights the University's Green Campus Initiative, which commits the campus community to lowering energy use, reducing water waste and improving recycling. Currently, 10 percent of Eastern's energy consumption is derived from renewable resources, including geothermal, solar power, biofuel and purchased electricity from renewable sources.
"The campus boasts four LEED-certified buildings including a LEED Silver Science Building, featuring day-light harvesting, a gray water system, recycled flooring, native plants and a biofilter system to reduce rainwater runoff," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Eastern's Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) addresses energy issues in our region by engaging in the development of sound public energy policy, providing K-12 energy education and professional development, and supporting sustainability solutions in Connecticut's communities, colleges, and universities."
"We are pleased to recommend Eastern to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices," said Rob Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review. Franek noted that recent survey findings indicate 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.
Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, commented, "In collaborating with The Princeton Review on this annual guide, we have seen that sustainability on campuses continues to be an important deciding factor for today's four-year college bound students. We are excited to once again provide prospective students and their parents with a resource to help them navigate this often daunting decision-making process."