The Princeton Review has released its sixth annual guide to the most environmentally responsible colleges — a listing of the schools with “the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives, and activities.” The University of Vermont is ranked 10th.
UVM scores highly for its percent of LEED-certified campus buildings constructed or renovated in the past three years — 93 percent — and for the percent of school energy that comes from renewable resources — 88 percent. Also of note in the guide is UVM's support for alternative transportation, from free transit passes and a free campus shuttle to a bike share program, secure bike storage, and showers and lockers for bicycle commuters.
The Princeton Review calculates its rating based on institutional data related to campus food, alternative transportation, the presence of a campus sustainability officer and committee, LEED-certified construction and renovation, waste-diversion rates, sustainability-focused academic programs and requirements, formal plans to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and campus renewable energy usage. Student survey responses regarding their college’s commitment to and support for sustainability issues were also used to create the ranking.
Among UVM's commitments in these areas are an Office of Sustainability that promotes environmental responsibility at the university; a waste-diversion rate of 45 percent; a climate action plan that leads to climate neutrality by 2025; and several highly-regarded sustainability-focused academic programs, including the first interdisciplinary environmental program in the country and an innovative, new MBA program in sustainable entrepreneurship.
The free guide is available for download from the Princeton Review.