By Julia Ferrante
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University has been named among the top 286 colleges and universities in The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges.
The guide, published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainability.
Bucknell and the other colleges and universities on the list were selected among nearly 700 institutions included in the Princeton Review's annual college guidebooks using a "green rating" based on the schools' participation in the USGBC's LEED green building certification program, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, and recycling and conservation programs. Schools included in the green guide received scores in the 80th percentile or higher.
"Our research has shown that students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending universities and colleges that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review.
Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC noted that greening initiatives can save universities money and improve the quality of life for students.
Bucknell was recognized, in part, because of its Campus Greening Initiative, which "engages students, faculty and staff in promoting environmental literacy and demonstrating best practices in environmental sustainability," according to the guide. The Bucknell University Environmental Center also encourages student-centered research on ways to increase sustainability, addresses sustainability in the curriculum and supports outreach in the region and at a national level.
The University also works in collaboration with facilities, dining services and the student-run Bucknell Environmental Club to promote sustainability. And the campus master plan "embraces sustainable principles, including creating a more pedestrian-friendly campus, reconnecting campus to the Susquehanna River and restoring Miller Run, a stream flowing through campus."
"Bucknell has also adopted alternative and renewable energy sources beginning with its transition in 1998 from a conventional coal-burning power plant to a co-generation power plant fueled by cleaner-burning natural gas," the guide notes. "This change resulted in a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."
In addition, all of the University's purchased energy comes from wind power. Bucknell also offers an environmental studies degree, supports a bike-sharing program and maintains much of the campus grounds organically.
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