INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Environmental efforts earn University national accolade
Binghamton University has received top recognition by The Princeton Review in its second annual “green rating” of colleges. One of only 15 colleges recognized by this rating, Binghamton University is the only SUNY institution and the only university in New York state named to the honor roll.
“This recognition reflects the commitment of our entire campus community,” Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur said. “We offer a broad network of programs, projects and initiatives that encompass every facet of the University and engage our students, faculty, staff, partners, suppliers and neighbors through educational programs, outreach efforts, research projects and programs that reduce our impact on the environment. We are very proud of these efforts and this prestigious honor roll reflects our firm commitment to sustainability.”
During a news conference held near the University’s 182-acre Nature Preserve, Vice President for Administration James VanVoorst emphasized sustainability efforts ranging from LEED building standards to energy-savings projects to energy contests for residential communities. Other efforts include organic gardening and composting and research into renewable energy.
In fall 2007, DeFleur was a charter signatory in endorsing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). To date, more than 640 universities nationwide have signed on to work toward a goal of climate neutrality.
Last spring, the University won the New York State Grand Champion title for Recyclemania ’09 and placed third nationally out of 210 schools in the bottles/cans category.
“For Binghamton University, it’s a community-wide effort,” VanVoorst said. “We have put into place projects and programs that affect all aspects of campus.
“This has been part of our nature,” he added. “Environmental concerns and sustainability are important to us, our students and the entire community. We take great efforts to be at the forefront and to do new and innovative things that keep people interested.”
The green rating is a numerical score on a scale of 60 to 99 that The Princeton Review tallied for 637 colleges and universities based on data it collected from the schools in the 2008-09 academic year concerning their environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings.
The “2010 Green Rating Honor Roll” salutes seven public and eight private institutions that each received Green Rating scores of 99, the highest. Along with Binghamton University, the honor roll includes Arizona State University-Tempe; Bates College and the College of the Atlantic (both in Maine); Colorado College; Dickinson College (Pa.); Evergreen State College (Wash.); Georgia Institute of Technology; Harvard College; Middlebury College (Vt.); Northeastern University; University of California–Berkeley; University of New Hampshire; University of Washington; and Yale University (New Haven, Conn.).
Robert Franek, vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, noted that the 2008-09 academic year saw a 30 percent increase in the number of colleges and universities participating in the green-rating survey.
The “green” movement on college campuses has become more than an Earth Day recycling project, Franek said.
“It is growing tremendously among students and administrators alike,” he said. “Many have shown extraordinary commitments to environmental issues and to the environment in their practices and programs. We are pleased to play a role in helping students who care deeply about these issues identify, get into and study at these schools.”