UGA ranks among most environmentally responsible colleges

April 22, 2010

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Athens, GA. - The University of Georgia is one of the country's most environmentally-responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review, and was recently featured in the publication's Guide to 286 Green Colleges.

The guide specifically noted UGA's Academy of the Environment, which is a venue for cross-disciplinary collaboration in research, graduate and undergraduate training, and public education and outreach that includes 300 faculty members. The "Every Drop Counts" campaign, which resulted in a 22 percent drop in water usage on campus, was highlighted as was the fact that UGA is home to the Eugene Odum School of Ecology, the world's first stand-alone school devoted to teaching, research and public service in the areas of ecology and environmental studies.

"Sustainability is being infused into all aspects of life at UGA," said Kevin Kirsche, director of the UGA Office of Sustainability. "Through academics, research, outreach, student engagement, and campus operations, we envision a model for sustainable living on campus and beyond."

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Guide to 286 Green Colleges is the first freecomprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives. Inclusion was based on a survey of hundreds of colleges that looked 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.

"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," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review. "According to our recent College Hope and 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 the University of Georgia focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process," he added.

"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," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the 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 Tate Student Center at UGA has earned LEED certification, and the university will hold a brief ceremony and plaque unveiling to commemorate the certification on Thursday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m. inside the west plaza main entrance of the building.

The Guide to 286 Green Colleges can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide or www.usgbc.org/campus.

For more information, see the links below:

UGA Sustainability Initiative: http://gogreen.uga.edu/

UGA Go Green Alliance: www.ugagogreen.org/

The Princeton Review: http://www.princetonreview.com/

The U.S. Green Building Council: http://www.usgbc.org/

Filed under: Environment, Alternative Energy, Conservation, Sustainability, University News, Honors / Awards, Institutional Initiatives

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