The “Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition” provides prospective college students with a comprehensive list of schools that offer green campus initiatives.
The Princeton Review chose the colleges on this list based off of their “green rating” scores tallied from data collected from a 2014 survey of college administrators, according to a press release. The survey asked about the school’s sustainable policies, practices and programs.
It weighed more than 25 data points and tallied “green rating” scores for about 900 universities. Schools included in the 2015 Green Edition had total scores of 83 or higher.
“This is important for students who are looking for a school that values sustainability and has sustainable principles,” said Mary Clark, UNM sustainability manager. “They’ll see that UNM is on that list, and if they’re trying to choose a school based on that, the list is very good for us.”
UNM’s Office of Sustainability is working on multiple initiatives to improve the University’s sustainable programs and practices, Clark said.
Reducing energy usage in the buildings is one of its major projects. While the university has already seen a reduction of 28 percent, they are looking to raise that number.
Outfitting auxiliary buildings such as the bookstore, the Student Union Building and Popejoy Hall with solar panels would reduce energy costs, Clark said. Auxiliary buildings are charged for the cost of their utilities by UNM’s utility plant and pay the fee internally. Increasing the usage of solar energy would lower internal costs at the University, she said.
The Office of Sustainability is also working to divert University trash away from landfills through recycling. With a current diversion rate of 45 percent, they are hoping to exceed 50 percent within the next two years. The Recycling Department collects all potentially recyclable materials, which includes scrap metal, wooden pallets and CDs or DVDs. To further the campus’ sustainable efforts, UNM offers a minor in sustainability.
Initiatives to reduce water usage and improve the irrigation system are also ongoing.
“UNM is a leader in research in sustainable construction and energy technologies, recycling and campus building energy conservation,” Clark said. “Our University has made prudent use of the state and natural resources long before the term ‘sustainability’ began to be used in reference to the environment.”
Marielle Dent is the web editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Marielle_Dent.