Purple and gold goes green | Eastern North Carolina Now | East Carolina University has again been named one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the Princeton Review.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Crystal Baity.

    East Carolina University has again been named one of the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the Princeton Review.

    The education services company recently named ECU one of 420 schools in its Guide to Green Colleges for 2022, which is available free online. ECU has been recognized for several consecutive years.

    Schools were chosen after administrators at 835 colleges were surveyed about their institutional commitments to the environment and sustainability, analyzing 25 survey data points. ECU's Green Rating was 89 out of a possible 99 score.

    "We strongly recommend ECU to students who care about the environment and want to study and live as a green college," said Rob Franek, the review's editor-in-chief. "ECU offers excellent academics and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability that is exemplary on many counts."

    ECU's sustainability plan - developed with the input of students, staff, faculty and community members - outlines goals in the areas of climate change mitigation, academics and research, campus grounds and materials management. Long-term efforts include recycling and water and energy reduction. Earlier this year, a group of ECU Honors College students sought to improve sustainability by creating an orchard on campus.

    In addition to being named a Green College, ECU has been designated a Bicycle Friendly University, Tree Campus USA and Bee Campus USA. ECU has a silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, which is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. ECU also received the Clean Air Carolina Blue Sky Award for 2020 Partner of the Year for hosting air quality monitors and engagements, and participating in the organization's annual fundraiser.

    "These rating programs give ECU exposure on the national level and our campus sustainability initiatives help to recruit students and increase enrollment, which is beneficial campus wide," said Chad Carwein, ECU's sustainability manager.

    Sustainability encompasses much more than recycling and resource conservation, he said.

    "Sustainability is a journey, not a destination," Carwein said. "My goal for the program is to find creative ways tointegrate sustainability into the curriculum and utilize the campus as a living laboratory for sustainable development in order to bridge the gap between academics and operations and give students real-world experience by solving challenges right here on campus."

    Franek noted that the Princeton Review has seen an increase in the numbers of students who want to attend colleges with green practices, programs and offerings.

    This year's guide - published annually since 2010 - includes "Green Facts" detailing college efforts ranging from the availability of transportation alternatives to the percentage of the budget spent on local/organic food. The profiles also provide information about each schools' admission requirements, cost, financial aid and student body demographics.

    Each listing includes a "see what students say" section. "Both in and out of the classroom, the number of people at East Carolina 'make it possible to make a lot of connections for everything,' and there are 'endless resources here on campus to utilize and use to your advantage to be advanced in your curriculum and personal life,'" said one student about ECU.

    In addition to the Green Colleges guide, the Princeton Review is known for its annual college rankings including the Best 387 Colleges and Best Value Colleges.
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