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Princeton, known for its test-prep programs and college rankings, ratings and guidebooks profiles Western in the fifth annual edition of its free, downloadable book, The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges.
The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a 2013 survey of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges. It measured the schools' commitments to the environment and sustainability. The institutional survey included questions on course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
Campus sustainability is more than a buzzword at Western. In the past decade, Western stepped up its commitment to environmental sustainability with several initiatives. In 2005, Western signed an environmental charter recognizing the university’s responsibility to improve environmental awareness, stewardship of natural resources and resource efficiency. Western also signed the President’s Climate Commitment, which dedicates Western to become a “carbon neutral” campus.
Students have played a pivotal role in leading sustainability initiatives on campus, with projects that include an earth tub for composting waste from the campus cafeteria, a student sustainability grant to fund campus projects and the recently approved optional student fee for renewable energy. Western also offers a variety of educational opportunities in environmental stewardship through its Center for Environmental Studies and the Institute for Applied Sustainability.
In the guide's profile on Western, The Princeton Review highlights green building standards, as well as the university’s wide variety of course offerings in everything from Environment & Sustainability to Petroleum Geology.
According to Princeton, “Western is prepared to meet the challenges of energy efficiency in one of the coldest parts of the nation. The first step was to improve energy efficiency in the existing buildings on campus. Over the past few years, Western has completed energy-related retrofits or renovations on a whopping 65 percent of its buildings.”
Western is one of six colleges in Colorado selected for the ranking. Western joins the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, Naropa University, the University of Denver and Colorado College on the list.
How Schools Were Chosen for the Book
The Princeton Review team chose the schools based on a survey conducted in 2013. They asked administrators at hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and Canada about their institutions' sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. With survey data covering more than 25 fields, The Princeton Review tallied its "Green Ratings" (scores from 60 to 99) for 832 schools and reported them in the school profiles on the Company's website, as well as in its college guides in summer 2013. The 332 schools in this guide received scores of 83 or above in that assessment. (Note: The Princeton Review does not rank the schools 1 to 332, nor does it report their Green Rating scores in this book.) Information about the company's Green Rating and its "Green Honor Roll" list of 22 schools that received the highest possible score, 99, is at princetonreview.com/green.aspx.