Frostburg State University has been recognized in a new publication designed to “recognize the impressive environmental and sustainability programs at universities and colleges across the country.” The Princeton Review, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has published “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges” – the first, free comprehensive guidebook solely focused on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.
Released on Earth Day (April 22), the guide, based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide, profiles the nation’s most environmentally responsible campuses. “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges” looks at an institution’s commitment to building certification using USGBC’s LEED green building certification program, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, recycling and conservation programs, and much more.
Noted among FSU’s achievements are its Learning Green, Living Green Sustainability Initiative, which coordinates a wide range of the University’s sustainability efforts. Also highlighted were its charter membership in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), its Energy Star purchasing policy and the installation of high-efficiency lighting and low-flow showerheads that is not only saving electricity and water, but also has saved FSU close to $40,000 in utility costs as of the time of the Princeton Review survey. Attesting to the wide range of factors examined, other accomplishments listed included “E=(LG)2, the student-written, student-edited publication on sustainability, the only one of its kind; the Sustainable Energy Research Facility, an off-grid building that is in the planning stages; its participation in the national RecycleMania competition; and the wide variety of environmental studies programs that are available.
“For the past few years, Frostburg State University has been evolving as a campus with a true commitment to sustainability,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “The Learning Green, Living Green committee has truly embraced this, and we are seeing sustainability integrated throughout the fabric of the University. As we implement our climate action plan and construct new buildings, we will see even greater results as we seek to reduce our carbon emissions to zero. I am so pleased that we have been recognized by Princeton Review for our efforts.”
Since Princeton Review conducted its survey, FSU has also completed a climate action plan, with a goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030, and has hired a safety and sustainability coordinator.
“Our research has shown that students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending universities and colleges that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. “In fact, 64 percent of the nearly 12,000 college applicants and parents who participated in our recent College Hopes & Worries Survey said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this Guide to help them evaluate how institutions focus on environmental responsibility so they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”
The Princeton Review noted that another unique aspect of this guide is that it provides important information on schools that have dedicated environmental studies curriculums. “By many accounts, there are going to be a lot of job opportunities related to the environment and sustainability,” Franek said. “For those who are interested in working in this growing sector, the guide highlights the schools that are doing an especially good job in preparing and placing the next generation of green professionals.”
The free, online publication considers each institution’s commitment to LEED certification of buildings, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, recycling and conservation programs, and other factors. It is available at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide or www.usgbc.org/campus.
The Princeton Review chose the 286 schools included in the Guide based on the “Green Rating” scores the schools received in summer 2009 when The Princeton Review published Green Rating scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks. FSU received a rating of 85 out of a possible 99, just five points short of the cutoff for the PR’s Green Rating Honor Roll. Of 697 schools that The Princeton Review gave “Green Ratings” to in 2009, the 286 schools in the guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile.
For more information about FSU’s sustainability efforts, visit the Learning Green, Living Green Web site at www.frostburg.edu/lglg/.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland.