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UW-Eau Claire again named among Princeton Review's top U.S. green colleges

April 23, 2013

Princeton Review Seal 2013EAU CLAIRE — For the third year in a row, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

The newly released comprehensive guidebook, "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition," includes UW-Eau Claire among the 322 institutions of higher education that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

The Princeton Review joined with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council to release the fourth annual edition of its free guidebook saluting the nation's most environmentally responsible green colleges.

The higher education institutions profiled in the guide all received green ratings of 83 or higher, on a scale from 60-99, based on The Princeton Review survey of hundreds of college administrators. The schools included in the guide were selected after 806 schools' green ratings were tallied by The Princeton Review, a well-known education services company.

"We are truly pleased to once again be recognized by The Princeton Review for our sustainability efforts here on campus," said Dr. Christina Hupy, UW-Eau Claire's Sustainability Fellow. "The rating highlights some of the unique sustainability initiatives here on campus and showcases how students and faculty work closely together on these projects."

Specific initiatives highlighted in The Princeton Review guidebook include:

  • The Sustainability Fellowship program. The chancellor's sustainability fellow serves as an intra-campus and community liaison on sustainability issues.
  • The Clean Commute Initiative, which consists of students, faculty and staff working with city of Eau Claire representatives on biking, pedestrian and busing issues.
  • The Campus Sustainability Network, made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators, which leads projects such as a Cardboard Corral program on student move-in day that collects and recycles cardboard to prevent it from going to landfills. The focus on keeping waste out of landfills led UW-Eau Claire to an unprecedented 75 percent waste-diversion rate.

  • Housing and Residence Life's "Trash Talk Thursday." Local experts discuss opportunities and challenges related to creating a sustainable future.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. UW-Eau Claire created its first inventory in 2008, followed by updated inventories in 2010 and 2012, thanks to student-led projects conducted through interdisciplinary classes.

The guidebook recognizes UW-Eau Claire's Student Senate as a strong leader in sustainability initiatives, noting that it proposed having students pay an annual fee to support green initiatives on campus. Approved by the student body via a referendum, the $20-per-year fee supports the Student Office of Sustainability, which has developed new initiatives and collaborated with other regional and campus stakeholders on projects such as LED lighting, a bike rental program, the $CORE program that improves the energy efficiency of student rental houses, e-waste recycling, duplexing printers, ZimRide, Green Revolution stationary bikes, water bottle filling stations, a campus garden and a film series on sustainability and food.

Other "green facts" noted about UW-Eau Claire in The Princeton Review's guidebook include:

  • 100 percent of the cleaning products used at UW-Eau Claire are green certified.

  • 100 percent of the campus grounds are maintained organically.

  • 18 percent of the university's food budget is spent on local/organic food.

  • New construction meets requirements of a rating system comparable to LEED certification

  • The university provides students with guidance on "green" jobs.

The national recognition of UW-Eau Claire's sustainability efforts is particularly meaningful as members of the campus community join a variety of university and community activities this week to celebrate Earth Week, Hupy said.

The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges can be viewed online.

Dr. Christina Hupy is available to discuss The Princeton Review's green colleges guidebook as well as UW-Eau Claire's sustainability efforts. You can reach her at 715-836-3313 or hupycm@uwec.edu.

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JP/DW

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