Oregon State University has been named to the Princeton Review’s 2012 Green Rating Honor Roll – the only university in Oregon to earn the distinction.
Princeton’s criteria for recognition includes a healthy and more sustainable campus life, student preparation for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges and the school’s overall dedication to environmental issues. OSU is among 16 U.S. colleges and universities given top honors by the Princeton Review for receiving the highest possible score (99) in its Green Rating tallies this year.
Being recognized by EPA as the second-largest purchaser of green power of any university in the United States is one of the the ways our school satisfied the Princeton Review’s criteria. This year OSU also earned a Gold rating in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. This system measures sustainability in operations (direct environmental consequences associated with operating and maintaining campus buildings), research and curriculum (the discovery of new knowledge and awareness spreading), and administrative planning and engagement (in terms of high-level support for new projects and partnerships, social equity, and wise investments). While we received high ratings in both the Princeton Review and STARS, those working towards sustainability at OSU still recognize a need for improvement.
One of the major difficulties in sustainability is balancing growth of student enrollment with on-site energy consumption. Methods of tackling this issue include: caps on student enrollment, more investment into on-site renewable sources of energy, and cultural campaigns to encourage decreased per capita energy consumption (World Car Free Day is a great example). Despite our recent successes in sustainability, recommendations to push to envelope will continue to come.