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Earth Day Present: Sustainability Efforts Earn UC a ‘Green’ Thumbs-Up from Princeton Review


For the fourth year in a row, the University of Cincinnati was chosen by The Princeton Review as one of the top “green” schools in the country. WATCH a video highlighting UC's sustainability initiatives.

Date: 4/18/2013 12:57:00 PM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Video by Ashley Kempher/UC Creative Services

UC ingot   Might there be a time when the University of Cincinnati Bearcat mascot’s menacing glare should be accentuated with green irises, not red? With UC’s “green” vision again being honored, perhaps that time is now.

For the fourth consecutive year, UC was named among the nation’s best “green” schools by The Princeton Review. The renowned provider of education services and college research resources recently published the 2013 edition of its annual “Guide to 322 Green Colleges,” honoring schools based on their commitment to the environment and to sustainability – and it’s out in time for Earth Day on April 22.

The book is produced in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization most recognized for developing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system for rating building construction. A free copy of the guide is available for download on The Princeton Review website.

Some of UC’s efforts specifically mentioned in the guide include:

- Campus features one LEED Gold, one LEED Silver and four LEED-Certified buildings, and all new construction buildings on campus are required to seek LEED Silver certification.

- An urban garden on campus provides hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture.

- A newly expanded Bearcat Bike Share and new on-campus Bike Kitchen repair shop allow anyone to borrow a bike for free and have easy access to repairs.

- Campus dining offers vegetarian and vegan options, and local produce is purchased for use in dining halls when possible.

- Recycling is available in all buildings and at all large events on campus.

- A series of sustainability-themed lectures, films, workshops, tours and special events – including a new Student Sustainability Summit leadership retreat – is offered. Students will be able to earn an Environmental Literacy Certificate of Achievement by attending events, volunteering and joining small group discussions.

The Princeton Review quantifies schools’ overall dedication to sustainability via its “Green Rating” score. The rating ranges from 60 to 99 and is based on data from a 50-question survey on a school’s environmental and sustainability-related policies, practices and academic offerings. To be included in the guide, a school needed a score of 83 or higher. UC earned a Green Rating of 95. Less than 40 percent of the schools that reported data for the guide made the cut.

Other schools from Ohio named in the guide were Bowling Green State University, Case Western Reserve University, Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, Ohio Wesleyan University, University of Mount Union, Wittenberg University and Xavier University.

Among other schools nationwide listed in the guide were Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard College, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, University of South Carolina, Stanford University and Yale University.

The Princeton Review notes that of 9,955 college applicants who participated in its 2013 “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 62 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

More UC news related to Earth Day:

- What on Earth Day is going on around campus? Find out here.

- It looks like a bright, “green” future for UC.

- UC’s Utilities Services is working to kick coal with pellet power.

- Recycling at UC is growing tons at a time.