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Earth Day honors: EPA and Princeton Review cite "green" PA colleges

To the stacks of rankings of U.S. colleges and universities designed to  showcase institutional prowess, add another for Earth Day. Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges” compiles sustainability stats for 286 schools, including 27 in Pennsylvania.

The schools demonstrated enough sustainabililty to be ranked in the top twenty percent of U.S. institutions, according to their responses on measures including LEED green building certification programs; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs.

The guide reprises the green ratings that the Review published in 2009, profiling the schools that scored scores in the 80th or higher percentile. In that ranking, Carlisle’s Dickinson College was one of 15 institutions to rank in the 99th percentile. Cooperating on the guide was the U.S. Green Building Council.

As for other consumer purchases, green has become a selling point in college decisions. “Sixty-four 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,” says Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review.

Dickinson was among the in-state schools who competed with others in their athletic conferences to win the EPA’s Green Power Challenge. The Green Power Partnership tracked and recognized leaders within collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. Dickinson led the Centennial Conference with its purchase of $18 million in renewable energy certificates from WindCurrent L.L.C., representing all of the college’s annual electricity usage. Other conference winners included University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League) , Penn State University (Big Ten), Carnegie Mellon University (University Athletic Association),  Duquesne University (Atlantic 10) and Drexel University (Colonial Conference).

Source: Christine Dugan, Dickinson College
Writer: Chris O’Toole

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