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USU gets award for being 'green'

On June 7, 2010

Utah State University is one of the country's most environmentally responsible universities according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected USU for inclusion in its "Guide to 286 Green Colleges."

The Princeton Review, in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, surveyed nearly 700 schools to determine their "green rating." All the schools included in the recently released guide scored in the 80th percentile or higher.

Utah State's strong commitment to sustainability was evidenced when President Stan Albrecht was the first in Utah to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, a document that holds the university responsible for developing a plan to work toward climate neutrality. After, a Sustainability Council was formed to develop a Climate Action Plan.

The plan outlines specific strategies and mitigation steps to minimize the institution's greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact. The plan will be achieved by reducing campus energy consumption, obtaining energy from renewable and sustainable sources and institutionalizing a sustainable culture among students, faculty and staff. The plan also includes securing carbon offsets.

To develop this sustainable culture, educational modules are being developed and offered through a variety of programs within the university and the community, including freshman orientation programs. Student clubs and service groups have become increasingly active in organizing sustainability projects, events and conferences. A strong recycling program and alternative transportation choices, including a free bike loan program and a free natural gas powered shuttle service, are among the more visible and successful sustainability programs at USU.

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