WMU again named one of top 'green colleges' in U.S.

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KALAMAZOO—For the fourth consecutive year, Western Michigan University has been named one of "the nation's most environmentally responsible 'green colleges'" by Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools.

The 2013 edition of the free guidebook, released April 16, lists 322 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities that "demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation." The guidebook can be downloaded from the Princeton Review website at princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

Noted WMU initiatives

  • Use of LEED construction standards for both new projects and existing building renovations
  • Extensive electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Water management record
  • Numerous energy conservation efforts including heat recovery and lighting
  • Use of locally sourced food and trayless dining
  • Learning and research-oriented opportunities through the Office for Sustainability

The University was also noted as the only Michigan university with a student sustainability fee that provides support for sustainability efforts as well as grants for student-initiated research. WMU also is among schools that are signatories to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the Talloires Declaration. In addition, the University is a member of the Founding Circle of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.

The guide was compiled based on results of a 50-question survey of 806 schools. Data from the survey were used to generate a green rating for each school that ranges from 60 to 99. Schools with a score of 83 or better were included in the guide. WMU's rating was 94.

The Princeton Review, well known for its education and test-prep services, first created this one-of-a-kind resource for college-bound students in 2010 in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, which is best-known for developing the LEED green building rating system. In 2010, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed and operated so that all educational facilities can enhance student-learning experiences.