Report card for green schools

Institutions around the country continue to develop ways to rank and evaluate green colleges and universities.

08/21/2009


At universities around the country, sustainability and energy efficiency has become a test all schools must start to study for. Courses in sustainability and energy are becoming new additions to curriculums and students and facility alike are taking an increased interest in how their school performs efficiency-wise. Measuring a school's efficiency and greenness is difficult due to the unique variables each school possesses. However, according to The New York Times several accredited institutions have begun ranking and evaluating schools across the country based on how green they are.
The Princeton Review recently came out with its Second Annual Green Ratings . In collaboration with the non-profit, environmental organization ecoAmerica , the Princeton Review measured 697 institutions on a scale of 60 to 99 based on data collected during 2008-2009. The criteria for rating each school covers 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 rating included ten questions on everything from energy use, recycling, food, building, transportation, academic plans focused on environmental degrees, and action plans concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions. 15 schools earned the highest possible score, or "Green Honors " including:
• Arizona State University at the Tempe campus
• Bates College (Lewiston, Me.)
• Binghamton University (Binghamton, N.Y.)
• College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Me.)
• Colorado College (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
• Dickinson College (Carlisle, Penn.)
• Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
• Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.)
• Middlebury College (Middlebury, Ve.)
• Northeastern University (Boston)
• University of California - (Berkeley, Calif.)
• University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.)
• University of Washington (Seattle)
• Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
Another group, the Sustainable Endowment Institute's GreenReportCard.org , rates colleges on several different areas of green compliance, such as recycling, student involvement and green building. Its top grade for overall excellence, an A-, was earned by 15 schools, including:
• Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)
• University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.)
• University of British Columbia (Vancouver, B.C.)
• Columbia University (New York City)
• Dickinson College (Carlisle, Penn.)
• Harvard University (Cambridge, Ma.)
• Middlebury College (Middlebury, Ve.)
• University of Washington (Seattle)
• Brown University (Providence, R.I.)
• Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.)
• University of Colorado (Boulder, Colo.)
• Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)
• University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
• Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
• University of Vermont (Burlington, Ve.)

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education is also piloting a Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS ). The STARS program is designed to:
1. Provide a guide for advancing sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
2. Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions by establishing a common standard of measurement for sustainability in higher education.
3. Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
4. Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
5. Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

 





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me