WCU featured in green college guide

For the third consecutive year, Western Carolina University has been listed by The Princeton Review as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in North America.

WCU is included in the fourth annual edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges,” which was released in conjunction with the recent celebration of Earth Day.

Schools were chosen for inclusion in the guide based on a 50-question survey conducted at hundreds of four-year colleges. The education services company analyzed data about the schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and sustainability.

“We are truly pleased to recommend Western Carolina University along with all the fine schools in this book to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally responsible choices and practices,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review.

A profile of WCU in the book mentions the university’s focus on energy conservation – in particular, the program Reducing Our Carbon Paw Print, which raises awareness about the ecological and economic benefits of conserving energy and successfully reducing energy consumption on campus. The profile notes that the program has resulted in a 10 to 15 percent reduction in energy usage through behavior modification alone.

The Princeton Review also praises other university initiatives, including its use of six electric vehicles and efforts to meet the United States Green Building Council standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for buildings, also known as LEED certification. The student group EcoCATS is praised for leading efforts to green the campus and launch a variety of projects such as recycling drives, Campus Sustainability Day, the Clean Energy Fee, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and the Earth and Wellness Celebration.

“Western has a proud history of integrating sustainability into all aspects of our university,” said Lauren Bishop, campus energy manager. “However, there is still more that we can do and we look forward to continuing on expanding our efforts.”

For more information about WCU’s sustainability initiatives, contact Bishop at lbishop@wcu.edu or 828-227-3562.

WCU is praised in the guidebook for its energy conservation efforts and other sustainability initiatives.

WCU is praised in the guidebook for its energy conservation efforts and other sustainability initiatives.