NEC Recognized for Leadership in Sustainability
NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE STRIKES GREEN!
Not many colleges and universities have incorporated a commitment to sustainability into their mission statements. The fact that, over five years ago, New England College identified “the pursuit of ecological sustainability” as one of the College’s nine core values, was one of the reasons that The Princeton Review named NEC to their 2010-11 Guide to 286 Green Colleges.
The list of green colleges was compiled through the collaborative efforts of The Princeton Review and the United States Green Building Council. The two organizations looked for colleges and universities that demonstrated a higher level of commitment to sustainability in their campus environments and in their programming and initiatives related to sustainability. Among the criteria the Guide looked for in the institutions named to the list were: LEED building certification; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; and recycling and conservation programs. The 286 institutions named to the Green Guide were acknowledged for their “exemplary commitment to sustainability.”
Noting the many initiatives New England College has pursued, the 2010-11 Guide to 286 Green Colleges recognized the following:
- Capital projects valued at more than $500,000 that are environmentally
- The leadership demonstrated by the Sustainability Task Force and the
student-led Environmental Action Committee;
- Vegetarian options offered in the College’s dining facilities;
- LEED silver standards applied to new buildings and major renovations;
- Ride sharing and van pooling programs;
- Three academic programs relating to sustainability:
However, what set NEC apart from hundreds of other colleges across the country was the College’s efforts to promote environmental literacy among our students. As noted in the College’s profile, “every NEC student receives a primer in sustainability and climate change before graduation.”
Additionally, in developing its list of green colleges, The Princeton Review surveyed over 16,000 college applicants and their parents. Nearly one quarter of those responding indicated that a commitment to sustainability would influence their decision on what college to attend.
New England College’s ongoing commitment to sustainability is reflected in its membership in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The membership organization is comprised of colleges and universities across the country that have taken a leadership role in creating a sustainable future. Launched in 2006, AASHE was the first association representing higher education that focused on initiatives relating to sustainability. In 2008, New England College was among just 600 institutions across the country represented by AASHE. Today, the organization numbers over 1,000 and is committed to doubling that number by the end of this year.