Princeton Review adds green grades to college ratings

The annual college guide will feature a "green rating" for the first time in its 2009 edition. More than 600 college profiles will be graded on envrironmental responsibility, sustainable buildings, and other criteria.

07/11/2008


The Princeton Review will add a “green rating” to 600 college profiles in its annual college guides at the end of July. The green rating score is a composite of factors from building and transportation policies, recycling, food sourcing, and environmental courses offered.The data used to evaluate each school will be from data collected during the 2007-08 academic year.
“The rating is a numerical score on a scale of 60 to 99, which is similar to other numerical ratings in the Review’s school profiles,” said Harriet Brand, a spokeswoman for Princeton Review. According to the organization, 63% of college applicants surveyed said they would value having information about a college’s commitment to the environment and that it would impact their decision to apply or attend the school.
Among other things, schools are asked about the extent to which they provide, foster and develop an environmentally responsible experience that prepares students "not only for employment in the clean energy economy of the 21st century, but also for citizenship in a world now defined by environmental challenges," the Review said.
Campuses have been going green for a while now. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education has a rating system for schools. The Worldwatch Institute outlines campus greening initiatives on its web site. And, the Sustainable Endowments Institute puts out the College Sustainability Report Card that grades 200 schools that have large endowments according to how they spend those endowments in ways that benefit the environment.

The Princeton Review developed the rating in conjunction with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental research organization.

Although The Princeton Review has not yet released the ratings, the organization released a list of unique practices that specific colleges engage in.

Included in the list was Ripon College, which was chosen for its decision to give incoming freshman a free mountain bike, helmet, and lock if they do not bring a car to campus. Southern Illinois University was mentioned for having a unique earthworm recycling method called “vermiposting” that feeds campus food and paper waste to 2 million worms that turn it into compost.





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