UConn third greenest college campus in world
Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2012 21:02
According to a list published by Universitas Indonesia in December, UConn is the third-greenest college campus in the world.
UI's GreenMetric World University Ranking listed only Nottingham University (UK) and Northeastern University in Boston ahead of UConn. Schools accumulated points in the rankings based on five categories: setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, and transportation. UConn received a score of 7,708, behind Nottingham's 8,033 and Northeastern's 7,981.
The calculation relies on information provided by the 178 universities contacted by UI to participate in the ranking. The researchers tried to establish "a picture about how the university is responding to or dealing with the issue of sustainability through policies, actions, and communication," according to the GreenMetric website.
The researchers also looked at setting (urban versus rural) and zoning policies as a measure of land use. "We want to see the degree of green space," they said. The criteria were selected to try and produce a picture of how concerned survey respondents were with reducing environmental impact.
A commitment to environmental sustainability is in greater demand among today's college applicants.
Among respondents to a 2011 Princeton Review survey, "69 percent said having information about a college's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school."
UConn was also named by the Princeton Review, as well as the U.S. Green Building Council, as one of America's most eco-friendly colleges.
Director of environmental policy Richard Miller told UConn Today, "We can be proud that UConn is emerging as a true leader for its environmental policies, practices, and sustainability initiatives. We realize, as the survey results show, that there are still many areas for improvement, but we're definitely headed in the right direction."
He went on to say that UConn hopes to use its ranking to facilitate improvement in sustainability both here and at other schools, saying UConn could "help, advise and mentor other colleges around the world, especially through our involvement in Universitas 21." He also congratulated schools in poorer countries that made the list and admired their effort in facing "unusually difficult challenges when it comes to implementing campus sustainability programs."
The Office of Environmental Policy continues to work to minimize the university's environmental impact with new initiatives in 2012 and beyond. According to UConn Today, some of these projects include taking the Depot Campus off the energy grid with a 400-kilowatt, clean-energy fuel cell; an electric campus delivery vehicle fleet; and composting units at two dining halls.
New construction projects such as the Classroom Building, East Building, and Storrs Hall Annex were all designed with LEED certification in mind, and many recent buildings achieved LEED status as well.