Princeton Review Names Colorado State University Among Top Green Colleges

Colorado State University is among the nation’s greenest colleges listed in the 2013 edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.” The list, published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, is heralded as a one-of-a-kind resource because of its focus on colleges that demonstrate a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability.

CSU competed against hundreds of universities and, to be listed, had to receive a score of 83 or above as tallied by the Princeton Review. According to the Princeton Review, it does not publish or release the scores, since the list is not intended to be a ranking.

According to the guide, Colorado State University has “racked up some impressive sustainability awards.”

“CSU was the first institute of higher learning in the world to receive LEED for Commercial Interiors certification,” the guide says. “It was also the first university to collect data via satellite for weather forecasting, and it founded the first emissions control program in the United States, an invaluable resource for reducing greenhouse gases on campus. In addition, CSU was also one of the first universities nationwide to offer green power to its students.”

The Princeton Review chooses colleges to list in the guide based on a 50-question survey of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges. The survey includes questions about course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure college commitments to the environment and sustainability.

The Princeton Review also had previously surveyed 9,955 college applicants; 62 percent said having information about a university’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend that college.

Additional sustainability and green efforts at CSU, which have been updated since the Review gathered information for the list, include:

– The university currently has 14 LEED certifications, 12 for new construction and two for commercial interiors.

– Colorado State University is also home to a 30-acre, 5.3 megawatt solar plant with an expected annual output of 8.5 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity.

– The university’s recycling and composting programs give CSU a 61.6 percent waste diversion rate. The university recently launched a pilot project through an innovative partnership with the City of Fort Collins to increase composting of food waste.

– The university’s Aspen Grille restaurant, which is student run, is the second green-certified restaurant in Colorado and purchased locally produced meats, cheeses and produce.

– The Colorado State Forest Service, which is part of Colorado State University, grows 2 million seedlings each year, which reduce carbon dioxide and provide more greenery for the area.