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CSUMB earns another 'green' honor

Named environmentally responsible by Princeton Guide

It’s the latest thing in American college ratings: How green is your campus?

At CSU Monterey Bay, the answer is: Green enough to earn a listing in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green College for the third consecutive year. ? Created by the Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the guide profiles colleges and universities that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. Officials with the publication say schools were chosen based on a survey of hundreds of colleges in 2012. The survey asked administrators more than 50 questions about their institution’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. From that information, “green ratings” for 806 schools were developed. The 322 schools in the guide earned scores of 83 or higher. The publication noted that CSUMB was an early signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, and is working toward its pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2030 through energy-saving initiatives including the revolving Energy Innovations Fund that supports energy-saving projects on campus and repays itself through energy savings, and the 3-acre solar installation that is meeting 16 percent of the university’s electricity needs. Also drawing praise was the university’s food service operations, which include organic foods, compostable packaging and serving products, recycling of cooking oil and joining the “Meatless Monday” movement. All buildings on campus have designated recycling areas, and the ubiquity of the blue recycle bins has helped the university achieve a 50 percent waste diversion rate. Even more impressive, according to the guide, is that 90 percent of campus buildings have undergone energy-related retrofits in the last few years. The green learning opportunities, which allow students to take courses in subjects as diverse as environmental writing and food ethics, were also cited. Even the campus police department has made strides, trading in a gas-guzzling vehicle for its first plug-in hybrid. The guide pointed out that CSUMB's commitment to green continues all the way to graduation – when students cross the stage to receive their degrees in gowns sewn with material made from recycled plastic bottles. The free guide can be downloaded here. More information on CSUMB’s commitment to sustainability can be found here.

Related stories: Drivers of electric vehicles can zap their rides at CSUMB, and it’s as easy as plugging in a toaster. CSUMB’s alternative transportation program, TRIPwise, has won a 2013 Best Practices award from the Higher Education Sustainability Conference.