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Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Honor Roll Rates Catawba One of Best in Nation

08/26/12 by Juanita Teschner

Catawba College was one of only 21 colleges nationwide to earn the highest possible score in the Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Rating Honor Roll.

The Princeton Review recently reported its fifth annual “Green Ratings,” which measure environmentally friendly educational institutions on a scale of 60-99. The company tallied the rating for 806 institutions on environmentally related practices, policies and academic offerings based on its institutional surveys of colleges in 2011-12.

The list appears on and in the new 2013 editions of two Princeton Review guidebooks published by Random House, Inc: “The Complete Book of Colleges” and “The Best 377 Colleges.”

Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher, noted the rising interest among students in attending “green” colleges. Among 7,445 college applicants Princeton Review surveyed in 2012 for its “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 68 percent said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school.

Criteria for Princeton Review’s Green Rating cover three areas: 1) whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable, 2) how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and 3) the school’s overall commitment to environmental issues. 

The institutional survey for the rating included questions on energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation as well as academic offerings and action plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Criteria for The Princeton Review’s “Green Rating”

The Princeton Review tallied the “Green Rating” scores based on data it obtained in 2011-2012 from the colleges in response to an institutional survey.  The survey included questions asking the schools to report:

  • The percentage of food expenditures that goes toward local, organic or otherwise environmentally preferable food;
  • Whether the school offers programs including free bus passes, universal access transit passes, bike sharing/renting, car sharing, carpool parking, vanpooling or guaranteed rides home to encourage alternatives to single-passenger automobile use for students;
  • Whether the school has a formal committee with participation from students that is devoted to advancing sustainability on campus;
  • Whether new buildings are required to be LEED (environmental certification of equipment/appliances) Silver certified or comparable;
  • The school’s overall waste diversion rate;
  • Whether the school has an environmental studies major, minor or concentration;
  • Whether the school has an environmental literacy requirement for all of its graduates;
  • Whether the school has produced a publicly available greenhouse gas emissions inventory and adopted a climate action plan consistent with 80 percent greenhouse gas reductions by 2050 targets;
  • What percentage of the school’s energy consumption is derived from renewable resources;
  • Whether the school employs a dedicated full-time sustainability officer.


The Center for the Environment at Catawba College was founded in 1996 to provide education and outreach centered on prevalent environmental challenges and to foster community-oriented sustainable solutions that can serve as a model for programs throughout the country. For more information, visit www.centerfortheenvironment.orgor

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