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Princeton Review ranks UB among nation’s Top 50 Green Colleges

UB green

Not all photos need captions but if they do this, this is the area to do it.

Published October 19, 2016

UB is among the 50 most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company known for its college rankings and test prep services features UB in the 2016 edition of its Guide to 361 Green Colleges.

The free, 160-page guide, which was published earlier this month, is available online.

Published each year since 2010, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges profiles colleges with the highest commitment to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities.

New this year is a ranking of the Top 50 Green Colleges, with UB coming in at No. 33 on the list.

Schools for this seventh annual edition of the guide were selected based on data from the The Princeton Review’s 2015-16 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The survey asked schools to report on their sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into the guide.

For the Top 50 Green Colleges list, the company used data from its institutional survey for its Green Rating and its surveys of students attending the colleges. Ten data points from the institutional survey were factored into the assessment. Data from the student survey included student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; adminis­tration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

The ranking places UB among a select group of green-friendly colleges and universities, said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior VP-publisher. “We strongly recommend the schools in this guide to environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” Franek said.

In its 2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey, The Princeton Review revealed that 61 percent of the 10,000 teens and parents who participated in the survey said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend that college, Franek added.

The guide features an introduction on why sustainability on campus matters, as well as short profiles of each of the 361 colleges and universities, complete with “Green Facts” and information on tuition and admissions data.

UB’s Green Facts section notes several of the university’s alternative transportation options, including its innovative bike share program, and that 100 percent of new construction projects at UB have been designed to meet U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards. Examples of recent projects include the renovation of Hayes Hall on the South Campus and the new building for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences being constructed in downtown Buffalo.

UB has appeared on several lists and rankings of green schools in recent years. Earlier this fall, UB landed at No. 57 on the Sierra Club’s 2016 Cool Schools list, which ranks colleges and universities based on sustainability criteria.

In the spring, UB ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership list of the largest college and university green power users. In May, UB was named one of three winners of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Energy to Lead competition. Last fall, UB submitted an exhaustive report on its sustainability efforts, which earned a “gold” certification as part of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, or STARS.