AUBURN – Auburn University is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible universities according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected Auburn for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”
The Princeton Review chose the 286 schools included in the guide based on the “Green Rating” scores the schools received in summer 2009 when The Princeton Review published Green Rating scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and annual college guidebooks. Of the 697 schools that were given Green Ratings in 2009, the 286 schools in the guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile.
“Auburn is committed to demonstrating national leadership in sustainability,” said Auburn University President Jay Gogue. “Our inclusion in the Guide to Green Colleges confirms that we recognize sustainability as a guiding concept in our development, and one that we continue to emphasize as playing a major role in the operation of our campus.”
The guide looks at an institution’s commitment to building certification using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; and recycling and conservation programs.
Auburn is home to two of three LEED Gold certified buildings in the state of Alabama, the M. Miller Gorrie Center and Auburn Research Park Building One. In addition, the Office of Sustainability has led efforts to make the campus more pedestrian friendly by expanding pedestrian streets and incorporating bicycle lanes and additional green spaces on campus.
The Arbor Day Foundation recently honored Auburn University as a Tree Campus USA University for its dedication to campus and forestry management and environmental stewardship. Auburn was the first college or university in the Southeastern Conference to receive the designation.
“We are very pleased to be included in The Princeton Review’s list of green schools,” Office of Sustainability Director Lindy Biggs said. “Auburn was an early proponent of campus sustainability in the Southeast and our efforts are being noticed.”
The Princeton Review noted Auburn’s interdisciplinary sustainability minor program, one of the first of its kind in the country, which includes courses on ecotourism and global consumer culture and is open to all undergraduates.
“Our minor in sustainability studies was one of the first in the region and we’re very proud of it,” Biggs said. “Sustainable practices are the future, and here at Auburn we’re moving forward with a number of new projects to continue reducing our footprint and educating the campus population.”
Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.
(Written by Carol Nelson.)