RIT named among top ‘green colleges’

Innovative sustainability initiatives also help university break into new Top 50 listing

RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability is committed to advancing education and research in sustainability, remanufacturing and the circular economy.

Rochester Institute of Technology, for the eighth consecutive year, has been named one of the greenest universities by The Princeton Review—while also placing on an even more exclusive list at the same time.

The 2018 Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges, published Oct. 16, evaluates colleges and universities on environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings. The company has produced lists of green colleges since 2010. The guide is an alphabetized list of schools that meet The Review’s guidelines for being green.

RIT also made The Review’s new “Top 50 Green Colleges” ranking list in the guide, coming in at No. 50 on the list. The company used data from its institutional survey and its survey of students at the 399 colleges in the book to tally the ranking list.

 “I am very pleased that RIT has once again been recognized as one of the greenest universities, and particularly proud to be among the Top 50 most sustainable schools,” said Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability adviser to the president. “Our university has a traditionally strong focus on green initiatives and remains staunchly committed to incorporating sustainability into all aspects of our operations—from new construction and facilities management to leading research and education.”

The Princeton Review’s Robert Franek, editor-in-chief, noted that college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. Among nearly 11,000 teens and parents the company surveyed earlier this year for its 2018 “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 63 percent overall said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

The guide’s profiles provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student enrollment statistics. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on locally grown and organic food.

The guide chose colleges based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied this past summer from 684 colleges using data from its 2017-18 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with scores of 80 or higher made it into the guide.

The Princeton Review developed the Top 50 ranking list using data from the institutional survey for its Green Rating and its surveys of students attending the colleges. Ten data points from the survey factored into the assessment, including student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

In the guide’s profile, RIT is commended for being on “the cutting edge of innovation and sustainability,” achieving a “Green Rating” score of 96 out of a possible 99—the school’s highest rating ever. The university is commended for its fervent focus on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified new construction; RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, which is committed to advancing education and research in sustainability, remanufacturing and the circular economy; and serving as headquarters to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute. The university also was applauded for an extensive heating and cooling plant replacement project that will go a long way toward reducing campus emissions.

The complete guide can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

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