For the ninth consecutive year, Virginia Tech ranks among the most environmentally responsible universities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, according to The Princeton Review.
The Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green Colleges 2018 profiles institutions of higher education that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability across campus infrastructure, academics, career preparation, and more. The Princeton Review selected 399 schools for the 2018 guide based on “green rating” scores of 80 or higher.
Virginia Tech earned a green rating of 96, with the guide highlighting Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment, LEED certification of new buildings, Dining Services garden at Kentland Farm, and integration of sustainability concepts into nearly 750 courses and 33 majors.
Virginia Tech’s 2018 STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education was also identified as a distinguishing sustainability factor. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
The guide also emphasized the university’s strong recycling rate (43 percent), bike-friendly culture, and rich opportunities for students to engage in sustainability efforts through internships and campus events like Sustainability Week, Earth Week, and the Residence Hall Energy Competition.
“The university continues to grow as a living laboratory where students, faculty, and staff can play an active role in building a more sustainable future at Virginia Tech and beyond,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for operations at Virginia Tech.
“We’re thrilled to be included on The Princeton Review’s Green Colleges guide for the ninth consecutive year,” said Denny Cochrane, sustainability program manager, Office of Energy and Sustainability. “The recognition is a testament to a shared commitment among student, faculty, and staff to engage in sustainable practices.”
The Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which was approved in 2009 and reaffirmed in 2013, touches on all aspects of the university, including teaching, research, and campus operations, and is intended to guide the university toward a greener, more sustainable future.
Among the Climate Action Commitment’s 14 goals is a commitment of reaching a 50 percent recycling rate by 2020, improving energy efficiency where and whenever possible in campus buildings, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
“We strongly recommend Virginia Tech and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said Robert Franek, editor-in-chief, The Princeton Review.
According to The Princeton Review, more than 63 percent of all incoming freshmen include sustainability as a factor when making a decision to attend a specific college or university.
— Alexa Magdalenski