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BU a Princeton Review Green College (Again)

University makes list of 311 schools

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t2_2011GreenGuideCoverFor the second year in a row, Boston University is listed in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges—a feather in the cap of the University’s relatively young sustainability office, sustainability@bu. The publication, a joint effort of the Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council, profiles 308 colleges and universities in the United States and 3 in Canada “that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.”

“This is huge,” says University sustainability director Dennis Carlberg. “Being recognized by an outside organization with the credit of Princeton Review or the Sierra Club is a major threshold. It shows that, yes, we are doing the right thing.”

The list was whittled down from 703 schools whose administrators filled out a 50-question survey regarding sustainability practices. Their answers determined the school’s “Green Rating,” a numerical score from 60 to 99. Only those schools receiving scores in the 80th percentile or higher were included in the free online guide, released April 20. Schools were not ranked.

According to the Princeton Review, 69 percent of students who are college shopping say having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

“When you have a group of people who are interested in deciding what school they’re going to and consider this in their decision-making metrics, it’s really important,” Carlberg says.

Princeton Review noted the University’s efforts to retrofit existing buildings for greater energy efficiency, its focus on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-certified construction (seven projects are in the works now), and its success in increasing waste diversion (redirecting trash to recycling) from 3 percent to 24 percent in just four years. It also mentioned that 96 percent of students arrive on campus by public transportation, carpooling, or on bikes, that nearly a third of the food in University dining halls comes from local or organic sources, and that 75 percent of cleaning products used are Green Seal–certified.

BU has more than 20 sustainable student organizations on campus and offers at least 200 courses related to sustainability, including a degree in environmental studies.

The publication also suggests that there is room for improvement: BU undergraduates are not required to take an environmental literacy course, which would focus all students—regardless of major—on the topic of sustainability.

“It’s something we’re discussing,” Carlberg says. “We’re working on a sustainability strategic plan that will address that and other issues.”

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

6 Comments

6 Comments on BU a Princeton Review Green College (Again)

  • John X. Tsirimokos , ENG '55 on 06.02.2011 at 8:42 am

    Green College

    What nonsense !!!
    BU should get off of this liberal nonsense —– and you wonder why accomplished alumnii , like mtself , have turned away from the unniversity.
    Mandate sustainability courses ? Stupid move .
    And endorsed by Princeton and the Sierra Club , who cares ?!

  • Anonymous on 06.02.2011 at 10:11 am

    Judging by your response I hope you don’t tell people you went to BU. The value of my degree would drastically decrease.

  • Anonymous on 06.02.2011 at 10:49 am

    Congratulations bu!

  • Anonymous on 06.02.2011 at 11:44 am

    “As the planet’s tectonic plates shift, as the ices melts and the atmosphere spawns ever more unpredictable weather, perhaps human consciousness will also shift — not toward desperation and an increased flailing of more of the same. This is what the present moment looks like. It will shift in the only way it can: toward reverence, born of understanding, for the context in which we live, for the planet and one another. And then a new day will dawn.”

    Robert C. Koehler

    Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist.

  • Haters gon Hate on 07.27.2011 at 12:05 pm

    RE Green College: Either Way Congratulations to BU, as an alumni myself i remain committed to this fine institution and their successes in all fields whether academic, social, athletic etc. Not all alumni’s are as pessmistic as the person above me.

    • Alexis on 11.14.2011 at 1:43 pm

      It depresses me to see comments where the writer uses the word “alumni” to describe him/herself. This is what makes me embarrassed to be a part of the greater BU community sometimes!

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