Will the Real Green Colleges Please Stand up?
Natural Resources Defense Council
By Lee Epstein
March 21, 2012
In the middle part of the past decade, “sustainability” became somewhat of a “college craze” – that is, for ever-competitive college administrators. Lots of schools jumped on the “green” bandwagon, though some had already been leading the parade for some time. Others, sadly, have yet to see the light.
Oberlin College committed early on to sophisticated sustainable buildings, and local and organic food. My own alma mater, Dickinson College, embraced sustainability as one of the defining measures of both campus systems (LEED Gold buildings, waste oil for biodiesel transportation and for its boilers, its own organic farm supplying its foodservices, free bikes) and its academic and curricular focus. The University of Colorado at Boulder has committed that all of its new buildings will meet commendable LEED Gold standards, and it runs an alternative transportation system. UCLA recycles, recycles, and then recycles again. The University of New Hampshire fires up landfill gas to supply energy on campus. Arizona State University has a School of Sustainability. American University buys tens of millions of kwH of wind energy and has thoroughly greened its campus. And Middlebury College runs a biomass gasification plant to help it attain carbon neutrality by 2016. Read more…