Jul 15, 2011

Joining Forces to Find ‘Green’ Campuses

In a project designed to streamline efforts to assess campus sustainability programs, the Green Report Card will collaborate with three other like-minded organizations to produce common sustainability survey language.

For the first time, the Princeton Review, Sierra Magazine, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the Green Report Card are working together to encourage broader college participation in sustainability surveys with an emphasis on reducing time commitment and duplication of effort at the campus level.

While the Princeton Review produces the Green Honor Roll and Sierra Magazine lists the country’s “Coolest Schools,” the Green Report Card maintains an entire website devoted to comprehensive assessments of campus operations and endowment practices within nine separate categories.

In addition, the Report Card provides detailed school profiles and grades for 322 institutions and keeps track of trends in various green indicators.

This year, only eight schools earned the highest grade of “A” in the College Sustainability Report Card:

  • Brown University

  • Dickinson College

  • Luther College

  • Oberlin College

  • Pomona College

  • University of Minnesota—Twin Cities

  • University of Wisconsin—Madison

  • Yale University

Locally, only the University of Maryland earned distinction as one of 52 schools designated as Overall College Sustainability Leaders.

Maryland was also the only local college listed on Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll, while Georgetown University was the only local school to be listed among Sierra’s 100 “Coolest Schools.”

Presumably the sustainability data collection project will work similar to the Common Data Set (CDS) initiative used by the College Board, Peterson’s, and US News & World Report to gather data on general student participation in higher education.

Having a separate survey dedicated to “green” issues reflects growing concern among high school students about college commitment to the environment and sustainability as factors influencing decisions to apply or attend particular schools.

Additional information on the Green Report Card, the Green Honor Roll, and the Sierra Magazine list of “Coolest Schools” may be found on their respective websites.

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