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The University of Wyoming is ranked among the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges, according to a guidebook published this week by the Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council.
UW is listed in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges," a comprehensive guidebook solely focused on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated "an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives."
The ranking validates UW's special programs and initiatives to achieve a "green" campus, says Jim Scott, director of the UW Physical Plant and co-chairman of the Campus Sustainability Committee (CAC).
"Scoring in the top 20th percentile is quite an achievement for the university," says Scott. "It is rewarding to be recognized for our campus sustainability efforts, and it will let prospective students know the University of Wyoming is serious about its commitment to the environment."
President Tom Buchanan in 2007 signed the Presidents Climate Commitment, an initiative of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Membership comes with a set of requirements including reporting greenhouse gas reductions and energy efficiencies.
UW has developed a Climate Action Plan (CAP), Scott says, with goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015, 25 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2050. The CAP proposes a plan to achieve those targeted goals through education and outreach, energy and climate research projects, implementation of energy efficiency upgrades and initiatives, and integrating sustainability throughout the institution.
"Our research has shown that students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending universities and colleges that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher. "We created this guide to help them evaluate how institutions focus on environmental responsibility so they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process."
The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.
More information on the Campus Sustainability Committee and CAP can be found at www.uwyo.edu/sustainability/.