WCU listed in Princeton Review 2016 guide to ‘green colleges’

WCU’s Electron Garden on the Green, also known as the “EGG,” was the first physical structure funded through a student sustainability fee and carried out by WCU’s Sustainability Energy Initiative. The EGG is a combination solar power generating facility and hammock hanging lounge.

WCU’s Electron Garden on the Green, also known as the “EGG,” was the first physical structure funded through a student sustainability fee and carried out by WCU’s Sustainability Energy Initiative. The EGG is a combination solar power generating facility and hammock hanging lounge.

For the sixth 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 2016 edition of “The Princeton Review Guide to 361 Green Colleges,” which was recently released by the educational services company.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for the seventh annual edition of its guide based on data from a survey of hundreds of four-year colleges. “We strongly recommend Western Carolina University and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review.

The guide’s profile of WCU mentions numerous green initiatives, including the creation of the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management in 2013 to support a holistic integration of sustainability across the university; the conversion of lighting on campus to LED to save energy; efforts by the Conservation Awareness Team for Sustainability (also known as the EcoCATS) to launch sustainability projects; and the Sustainability Energy Initiative, which supports green projects and is funded through a student-approved fee of $5 per semester.

“It is exciting to see that our efforts continue to be recognized,” said Lauren Bishop, WCU’s chief sustainability officer. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support and energy from our students. This year, we have experienced our highest level of student engagement and leadership by far. It comes in numerous forms, from innovative capstone projects to research, volunteerism, developing new awareness and education programs, to name a few.

“The students are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work to create positive change on campus. We wouldn’t be on this list without them, and for that I am very proud for all that they do to show ‘green’ Catamount pride.”

The guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide. For more information about WCU’s sustainability initiatives, contact Bishop at lbishop@wcu.edu or 828-227-3562.