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UW-Eau Claire named a top U.S. green college for fourth consecutive year

April 22, 2014

2014 Princeton Review Green Colleges sealEAU CLAIRE — For the fourth year in a row, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada by The Princeton Review.

The newly released guidebook "The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges" lists UW-Eau Claire among the 332 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability through academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

The national recognition of UW-Eau Claire's sustainability efforts is particularly meaningful as members of the campus community join a variety of university activities to celebrate Earth Week.

The Princeton Review joined with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council to release the fifth annual edition of its guidebook saluting the nation's most environmentally responsible green colleges.

The 332 institutions profiled in the guide all received green ratings of 83 or higher based on a scale of 60-99. A total of 832 schools responded to The Princeton Review's 2013 sustainability survey.

"We are truly pleased at UW-Eau Claire's continued recognition in The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges," said Dr. Christina Hupy, associate professor of geography and anthropology and UW-Eau Claire's Sustainability Fellow. "The review showcases student involvement in sustainability on campus. It also brings attention to some of our newer initiatives such as the development of a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plan." 

Some of the UW-Eau Claire initiatives highlighted in The Princeton Review guidebook include:

  • The Sustainability Fellowship program. The chancellor's sustainability fellow serves as an intra-campus and community liaison on     sustainability issues.
  • The Clean Commute Initiative, which consists of students, faculty and staff working with city of Eau Claire representatives on biking,     pedestrian and busing issues.
  • The Campus Sustainability Network, made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators, which leads projects such as a Cardboard Corral     program on student move-in day that collects and recycles cardboard to prevent it from going to landfills. The focus on keeping waste out of     landfills led UW-Eau Claire to an unprecedented 75 percent waste-diversion rate.
  • Housing and Residence Life's "Trash Talk Thursday." Local experts discuss opportunities and challenges related to creating a     sustainable future.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. UW-Eau Claire created its first inventory in 2008, followed by updated inventories in 2010 and 2012,     thanks to student-led projects conducted through interdisciplinary classes.

The guidebook recognizes UW-Eau Claire's Student Senate as a strong leader in sustainability initiatives, noting that it proposed having students pay an annual fee to support green initiatives on campus. Approved by the student body via a referendum, the$20-per-year fee supports the Student Office of Sustainability, which has developed new initiatives and collaborated with other regional and campus stakeholders on projects such as LED lighting, a bike rental program, the $CORE program that improves the energy efficiency of student rental houses, e-waste recycling, duplexing printers, ZimRide, Green Revolution stationary bikes, water bottle filling stations, a campus garden and a film series on sustainability and food.

Other "green facts" noted about UW-Eau Claire in The Princeton Review's guidebook include:

  • 100 percent of the cleaning products used at UW-Eau Claire are green certified.
  • 100 percent of the campus grounds are maintained organically.
  • 18 percent of the university's food budget is spent on local/organic food.
  • New construction meets requirements of a rating system comparable to LEED certification
  • The university provides students with guidance on "green" jobs.

The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges can be viewed online.

Dr. Christina Hupy is available to discuss The Princeton Review's green colleges guidebook as well as UW-Eau Claire's sustainability efforts. She can be reached at 715-836-3313 or hupycm@uwec.edu.

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