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Princeton Review: Saint Michael's a top 'Green College'

09.20.17
green gardeners

The Organic Garden program (above file photo), a solar array and Saint Michael's sustainability director Heather Ellis-Lynch ((photos below) are just three of many reasons for the College's stellar "Green" ranking.

Saint Michael’s College is ranked as the 11th most environmentally responsible college among the 375 “greenest” campuses in the U.S. and beyond, according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company known for its test prep and tutoring services, books, and college rankings features Saint Michael’s in the 2017 edition of its free book, The Princeton Review Guide to 375 Green Colleges, published September 19. The ranking can be accessed at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this seventh annual edition of its "green guide" based on data from the company's 2016-17 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools' commitments to the environment and sustainability.

A listing for Saint Michael’s in the guide breaks down the particulars that landed the College so high among Green Colleges:

“Saint Michael’s College prides itself on a strong sense of community that informs its collaborative approach to greening the campus. The Office of Sustainability in collaboration with students, faculty and staff has facilitated sustainability efforts on campus which run the gamut, covering everything from recycling programs and a lecture series to free local transportation options for students and staff,” solar filerthe entry states, going on to note energy efficiency competitions among student residence halls, on-site composting, low-flow plumbing, the Organic Garden program and sustainable research opportunities. Also mentioned are the widespread use of geothermal energy on campus, an interactive Energy Dashboard, the student environmental club, Earth Week activities, and hybrid vehicles in the College fleet along with bus passes for all community members and solar-powered charging stations for electric cars.

Heather Ellis-Lynch, the director of sustainability for Saint Michael’s, talked about recent initiative to keep the College moving forward in this area. “Since the transition of the Office of Sustainability from Facilities over to Academic Affairs, I have been doubling-down efforts of really focusing on student engagement of all things sustainability on campus,” she said. Heather Lynch“The entire campus is a classroom through which it is our responsibility to provide students with the tools they need to make this world better. A new program I have established this year is the Eco-Rep program. Eco-Reps are undergraduate leaders whom educate their peers about environmental issues. Right now we are focusing on training, but by mid-fall the Eco-Reps will be implementing various programming in the Residential areas (first focus is the First Year Halls) to engage their peers in more sustainable behaviors.”

The authors used data from its institutional survey and its surveys of students at the 375 colleges in the book to tally the ranking list. Saint Michael’s also appears on a separate “Top 50” Green Colleges list.  The Princeton Review's Robert Franek, Senior VP-Publisher, said the company has noted growing interest among college-bound students in green colleges.

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the colleges based on "Green Rating" scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied in summer 2017 for 629 colleges using data from its 2016-17 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school's sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. Most of the schools (362) in this edition are in the U.S. Twelve are in Canada. One is in Egypt.

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