June 6, 2012 — Allegheny College is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Princeton Review, which selected Allegheny for inclusion in the second annual edition of its free downloadable book “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.”
Created by the Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges” is the only free, comprehensive guidebook profiling institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the schools for the guide based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges that the company polled in 2011 about their schools’ sustainability initiatives.
The guide’s profiles provide application information as well as facts, statistics and write-ups that report on the schools’ environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings. The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.
“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of the Princeton Review. “Among 7,445 college applicants who participated in our 2012 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly 7 out of 10 (68%) told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.”
Allegheny, which has pledged to become climate neutral by 2020, has a long-standing commitment to promoting sustainability practices and solutions. Its commitment began in 1972 with the establishment of one of the first environmental science departments in the country and accelerated in recent years when the college became a signatory of the ACUPCC in 2007.
In recent years, the college has achieved average reductions of about 25 percent in natural gas and electricity consumption in college buildings with envelope, lighting and boiler retrofits; the installation of three geo-exchange heating and cooling systems; the introduction of rain gardens, a green roof and porous parking for natural storm water management; and two LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residence halls along with a current renovation that also seeks LEED certification.
Allegheny has made a commitment to purchase electricity that is 100 percent wind-generated, which reduces Allegheny’s carbon footprint by 52 percent, and has invested over $2 million in energy retrofits since 2008, with an additional $3.5 million earmarked for efficiency projects through 2020.
Students at Allegheny are directly involved in sustainability efforts, taking an active role in an annual energy challenge to bring down energy consumption, coming up with new and creative ways to minimize waste, contributing to the design of sustainable features in buildings and renovations, and conducting research on energy alternatives such as switchgrass and biodiesel in classes and outdoor labs.