Stanford University gets highest ‘green’ rating from Princeton Review

Photo by Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News

The Princeton Review has named Stanford to its “2014 Green Rating Honor Roll,” one of 22 colleges and universities selected by the education services company as the most environmentally friendly schools in the nation.

Stanford, along with 21 other colleges and universities, received the highest score – 99 – on the annual rating.

“This recognition is really satisfying because it not only reflects the commitment of Stanford to being as sustainable as possible, but it is also a tribute to the many students, staff and faculty who have dedicated their time and effort to developing an enduring vision of the future for the university,” said JEFFREY KOSEFF, faculty co-director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and a professor of civil and environmental engineering.

“The leadership of FAHMIDA AHMED, associate director of the Sustainability and Energy Management Executive Office at Stanford, and her team in the Office of Sustainability is particularly noteworthy in this regard. They do us proud!” Koseff added.

The 2014 Green Honor Roll citation on Stanford said:

“Stanford University has invested $570 million over the past 10 years in sustainability research, emission-reduction infrastructure and energy efficiency projects for buildings.

“Part of the ‘Billion Dollar Green Challenge,’ the campus recently released a comprehensive energy and climate plan that can reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and enable an 18 percent savings in potable water consumption,” despite Stanford’s growth.

“The plan targets high-performance building design, resource conservation in existing buildings and a greener energy supply. Further, energy retrofits of older buildings have resulted in an estimated savings of 176 million kilowatt hours of electricity – about eight months of Stanford’s current use. Stanford’s recycling program (recognized by the EPA and a top contender in RecycleMania) diverts 65 percent of its solid waste from landfills.

“Stanford’s Transportation Demand Management Program (also recognized by the EPA) includes a free bus system powered by biodiesel and diesel-electric hybrids, a commute club, free/pre-tax passes on public transportation, car rental options, commute planning assistance, charter services and a bike program.”

As a result, “the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 46 percent” in the last decade,” the citation said.

The “Green Honor Roll” noted that more than 1,100 people at Stanford took part in the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day. In addition, the citation commended the Woods Institute, noting that it “offers an opportunity for students to research and create practical, interdisciplinary solutions to environmental challenges.”

Under the green rating project, now in its sixth year, schools are scored on a scale of 60 to 99. The Princeton Review tallied “green rating scores” for 832 colleges.

The “green rating” scores are based on data the company obtained from the colleges in response to a 2012-13 institutional survey with 10 questions.

The scores appear on the company’s website, as well in the profiles of the schools in the 2014 editions of the Princeton Review guidebooks, The Best 378 Colleges and The Complete Book of Colleges.