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Spring 'Greening' for Earth Day: UC Earns National Sustainability Ranking


The University of Cincinnati was chosen by The Princeton Review as one of the top “green” schools in the country for the fifth consecutive year.

Date: 4/21/2014 8:07:00 AM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Dottie Stover, UC Creative Services; video by Ben Gardner, UC Creative Services

UC ingot   "Green" looks good on UC. So says The Princeton Review.

In fact, the annual recognition is getting to be as much of a spring tradition as painting eggs.

For the fifth year in a row, UC was named among the nation’s best “green” schools by The Princeton Review. Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, the renowned provider of education services and college research resources has published the 2014 edition of its annual “Guide to 332 Green Colleges,” honoring schools based on their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

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.


- A multimillion-dollar investment in energy efficiency improvements.

- Research efforts geared toward developing innovative solutions to sustainability issues in an urban context.

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

- An expanded Bearcat Bike Share and 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 is offered. Students can 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 survey with more than 25 fields pertaining to 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 91. Less than 40 percent of the schools that reported data for the guide made the cut.
UC student landscaping
A UC capstone class works with Len Thomas to prepare space for the Lot 13 electric vehicle-charging station.


UC is among a select group of schools to have been included in the guide for the past five years, including Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Oregon.

Among other schools nationwide listed in the guide were Columbia University, University of Connecticut, Duke University, Harvard College, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, Stanford University and Yale University. Among other schools from Ohio named in the guide were Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University.

The Princeton Review notes that of 10,116 college applicants who participated in its 2014 “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 61 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

SUSTAINABILITY AT UC

This acknowledgement of UC’s sustainability efforts not only aligns with the Academic Master Plan goal to create a deliberate and responsible approach to our environment and to UC's resources and operations, but it’s another example of what it means to be Cincinnati Smart. The university recognizes its role as a leader in sustainable practice, research and education. UC seeks to consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of its decisions and is committed to incorporating the concept of sustainability into its academic and research programs; the design, operation and maintenance of its buildings and landscapes; and its organizational structure and management.

MORE UC NEWS RELATED TO EARTH DAY

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More than Just the Grass is 'Greener' at UC

Recycling Numbers Continue to Rise at UC

UC Clermont College Celebrates Earth Day