University of Maine Featured in the Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council in Just-Published “Guide to 286 Green Colleges”
Joe Carr, University of Maine
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Leah Pennino, The Princeton Review
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Free Guidebook Profiles the Nation’s Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges and Universities
ORONO — The University of Maine is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com). The nationally known education services company selected UMaine for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”
Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC, www.usgbc.org), the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.
“This is notable recognition, and we are most pleased to receive it,” says UMaine President Robert Kennedy. “The list of UMaine initiatives that have led to this recognition is long and impressive, appropriately showing the environmental leadership one would expect from a land-grant university.”
Kennedy pointed to the student-led Green Campus Initiative, the university’s unique and award-winning master plan, early adoption of the President’s Climate Commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, model approaches to energy procurement, environmentally friendly practices in housing and dining, and success in meeting the Governor’s Carbon Challenge as examples.
“UMaine’s strong environmental academic programs and relevant research in areas like climate change and deep offshore wind power are also critical to our commitment to environmental education and stewardship,” Kennedy says.
Just in time for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22nd), the guide, which is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide, profiles the nation’s most environmentally responsible campuses. From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, guide 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 more.
“Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” says Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. “According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents 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 like UMaine focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”
UMaine is the only Maine public university listed in the year’s guide.
“Beyond the cost savings to an institution, even the simplest aspects of a green campus, such as increased use of natural light, have been found to improve student learning and quality of life,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Green facilities make colleges more attractive to students and can dramatically reduce energy costs. Higher education is a top priority market segment for USGBC because graduates of green colleges become incredible drivers of change when they call for similar surroundings in their jobs and communities.”
The Princeton Review noted that another unique aspect of the 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,” says Franek. “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.:
How the Schools Were Chosen
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. The Princeton Review’s “Green Rating” is a numerical score from 60 – 99 that is based on several data points. In 2008, The Princeton Review began collaborating with USGBC to help make the Green Rating survey questions as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. 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. The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this book hierarchically or in any of its books based on their “Green Rating” scores.
About the University of Maine
The University of Maine, founded in 1865, is the state’s premier public university, located in the town of Orono. It is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from across the U.S. and more than 60 countries. It currently enrolls 12,000 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. Students are offered 88 bachelor’s degree programs, 64 master’s degree programs, 25 doctoral programs and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship on its campus, with substantial efforts aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction. For more information about the University of Maine visit http://www.umaine.edu
About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review (Nasdaq: REVU) has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for more than 28 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website, www.PrincetonReview.com, the company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for higher education. The Princeton Review partners with schools and guidance counselors throughout the U.S. to assist in college readiness, test preparation and career planning services, helping more students pursue postsecondary education. The company also owns and operates Penn Foster Education Group, a global leader in online education. Penn Foster provides career-focused degree and vocational programs in the fields of allied health, business, technology, education, and select trades through the Penn Foster High School and Penn Foster Career School (www.pennfoster.edu), which are headquartered in Scranton, PA.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,500 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion in U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads a diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, teachers and students. Building in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 13 percent of water consumption and 15 percent of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green buildings has the potential to generate 2.5 million jobs in America.