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UNH On "Green Honor Roll" Of Top 15 Sustainable Colleges

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
August 5, 2009

UNH is one of 15 universities nationwide named to The Princeton Review’s second annual “Green Rating Honor Roll,” The Princeton Review announced. UNH received the highest possible score – 99 – in the company’s ratings of how environmentally friendly institutions are. The Princeton Review collected data from 697 schools in 2008–09.

The Princeton Review cited UNH’s landfill gas-to-energy project (EcoLine™) that will provide up to 85 percent of the campus’s energy needs with landfill gas, its sustainable agriculture focus exemplified by the new dual major in EcoGastronomy and its Organic Dairy Research Farm, and its 2009 sustainable commencement as examples of the university’s leadership in sustainability.

“We are honored by The Princeton Review's recognition of UNH’s commitment to sustainability,” said Tom Kelly, chief sustainability officer and director of the University Office of Sustainability. “Credit goes to all of the administrators, faculty, staff, students and external partners with whom UNH collaborates to meet the challenges and opportunities of sustainability.”

UNH is the only New Hampshire institution to be named to the 2010 Green Rating Honor Roll; other New England universities on the list are Bates College and College of the Atlantic in Maine, Middlebury College in Vermont, Northeastern and Harvard universities in Massachusetts, and Yale University in Connecticut. The complete list of colleges, along with profiles of each institution, is here: http://www.princetonreview.com/green-honor-roll.aspx.

Recognizing the rising interest among students in attending colleges that practice, teach and support environmentally responsible choices, The Princeton Review developed its Green Rating criteria and institutional survey in 2007 with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental organization that continues to participate in this project. 

The criteria for the rating cover three broad areas: whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable, how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and the school's overall commitment to environmental issues. The institutional survey for the rating included 10 questions on everything from energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation to academic offerings (availability of environmental studies degrees and courses) and action plans and goals concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions.

UNH is a leader in integrating sustainability throughout its curricula, operations, research, and engagement efforts. Committed to being a model sustainable learning community, UNH has earned several awards for its sustainability initiatives, which range from having the largest transit system in the state and being the first in the nation to receive an EPA Energy Star building rating for residence halls to innovative research and engagement through efforts like Carbon Solutions New England and the NH Farm to School program. In spring 2009, over 60 authors from across and beyond campus published a book on UNH’s last 10 years of advancing sustainability. Discover the sustainable learning community at UNH at www.sustainableunh.unh.edu and discoversustainability.org.

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