INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
University wins recognition for environmental activities
Binghamton University has received top recognition by The Princeton Review in its first-ever “green rating” of colleges. One of only 11 colleges recognized, Binghamton is also the only SUNY institution named to the honor roll.
“We are pleased to receive this significant recognition,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “Our entire campus works very hard on our environmental efforts and this achievement truly reflects our commitment to sustainability. These efforts have been a priority for me and we have put into place a number of initiatives to engage all of our campus constituents — from the students in our residence halls to our maintenance crews,” she said. “Higher education has a unique role to play in addressing sustainability issues and we take this responsibility very seriously. Being named to this prestigious honor roll indicates our firm commitment.”
The green rating is a numerical score of 60 to 99 that The Princeton Review tallied for 534 colleges and universities based on data collected from the schools in the 2007-08 academic year concerning their environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings.
Robert Franek, vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, noted that the “green” movement on college campuses is far more than an Earth Day recycling project or a dining hall menu of organic food.
“The commitment that many colleges and their student bodies have made to environmental issues — indeed, to the environment — in their practices, use of resources and academic and research programs is truly compelling,” he said. “We are pleased to play a role in helping students identify, get into and study at these schools. It is the students of today who will face and hopefully find solutions for the enormous environmental challenges confronting our planet’s future.”
Binghamton University’s sustainability efforts range from an energy management system to recycling efforts that include organic gardening and composting.
Other initiatives include a range of energy-saving projects, LEED building standards and educational efforts that include a residential community energy contest as well as regular programs and events that engage and educate the campus community in thinking about and changing energy habits.
In fall 2007, DeFleur was a charter signatory endorsing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. To date, more than 500 universities nationwide have signed on to work toward a goal of climate neutrality.
The Princeton Review “2009 Green Rating Honor Roll” salutes six public and five private institutions that each received scores of 99 — the highest. Along with Binghamton University, the honor roll includes Arizona State University-Tempe; Bates College and College of the Atlantic, both in Maine; Emory University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Harvard College; University of New Hampshire; University of Oregon; University of Washington and Yale University.