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UD cited by Princeton Review in 'Guide to Green Colleges'

April 22, 2010--The University of Delaware is one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review.

The nationally known education services company selected UD for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants “The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, the guide -- which is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide -- profiles the nation's most environmentally responsible campuses.

From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, “The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges” looks at an institution's commitment to building certification using USGBC's LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.

The free guide can be downloaded at The Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council websites.

UD is a leader in both plans to reduce the institution's carbon emissions and in sustainable energy research.

The University's Climate Action Plan announced in 2009 sets interim targets for carbon emissions, including reductions of 5 percent by 2012 and 10 percent by 2015, compared with the 2008 levels that were measured in a comprehensive carbon inventory of the campus. The benchmarks will be met by focusing on four areas: green infrastructure, primarily the University's 350 buildings that are the source of 77 percent of campus carbon emissions; green energy, with 10 percent of UD's energy use in 2020 coming from such clean sources as solar power; sustainable transportation based on the development of a master plan that will emphasize improvements to bus and other transit systems; and green community action.

In addition to institutional initiatives, UD is a leader in sustainable energy research as scientists look at hydrogen fuel cells, solar energy and wind energy, with a turbine currently being constructed on the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

"From the milestones set in our Path to Prominence to the single-stream recycling actions we follow every day, this recognition is a testament to our desire to become a green university,” UD President Patrick Harker said. “We have set goals for environmental sustainability and we take this responsibility very seriously, from both an academic and a practical standpoint. This is a credit to all UD students and employees."

“Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. “According to our recent College Hope and Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this guide to help them evaluate how institutions like the University of Delaware focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”

“Beyond the cost savings to an institution, even the simplest aspects of a green campus, such as increased use of natural light, have been found to improve student learning and quality of life,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “Green facilities make colleges more attractive to students and can dramatically reduce energy costs. Higher education is a top priority market segment for USGBC because graduates of green colleges become incredible drivers of change when they call for similar surroundings in their jobs and communities.”

The Princeton Review noted that another unique aspect of the guide is that it provides important information on schools that have dedicated environmental studies curriculums. “By many accounts, there are going to be a lot of job opportunities related to the environment and sustainability,” commented Franek. “For those who are interested in working in this growing sector, the guide highlights the schools that are doing an especially good job in preparing and placing the next generation of green professionals.”

How the Schools Were Chosen

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 scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks.

The Princeton Review's Green Rating is a numerical score from 60-99 that is based on several data points. In 2008, The Princeton Review began collaborating with USGBC to help make the Green Rating survey questions as comprehensive and inclusive as possible.

Of 697 schools to which The Princeton Review gave Green Ratings in 2009, the 286 schools in the guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile. The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this book hierarchically or in any of its books based on their scores.