UO earns green honor for fifth straight year

The Princeton Review’s 2014 “Guide to 332 Green Colleges”
The Princeton Review’s 2014 “Guide to 332 Green Colleges”

For the fifth year in a row, the University of Oregon has earned a place among the greenest schools in the nation in an annual listing by the Princeton Review.

The UO has made the list every year since it was inaugurated in 2010. It was chosen for the Review’s 2014 “Guide to 332 Green Colleges” from among more than 800 institutions surveyed.

The guide does not publish scores of individual schools or provide a ranking. According to Princeton Review, the company uses its own Green Ranking system to assign schools a score between 60 and 99, and all of the institutions in the guide received scores in the 80s and 90s.

The UO is one of a number of schools that have been included in the guide every year since its inception..

The guide notes that at the UO, teaching and learning about sustainability is only half the story. The university also offers multiple programs that train green professionals in business, architecture, public policy and other areas.

The review also highlights the UO’s graduate certificate for Leadership in Sustainability, four student-run campus workshops on different sustainability topics and the much-replicated Sustainable Cities Initiative. And it cites an “impressive” campus recycling program that diverts 56 percent of total waste from landfills.

Inclusion in the guide comes as the UO prepares to participate in Earth Day activities in the coming week, including an Earth Day event Saturday at the EWEB River Edge Plaza and the Emerald ECOchallenge. The ECOchallenge offers simple ways for people at the university and around the region to begin enjoying a more sustainable lifestyle.

While the guide emphasizes that it is not a ranking, it does list an honor roll of 22 institutions that all achieved top scores of 99. Northwest schools that made the list are Lewis & Clark College, Portland State University and the University of Washington.

Other Oregon schools earning a place in the guide are Oregon State University, Southern Oregon University and Linfield College.

"The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition" profiles 330 schools in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate high-level commitment to sustainability in academics, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The free, 216-page book can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx and http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.

The guide was prepared in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools.