Indiana Colleges Among Nation's Top Green Schools

Princeton Review Recognizes Sustainability Efforts

A slew of Indiana colleges are getting national recognition for campus sustainability efforts.

Ball State University, Earlham College, Indiana University in Bloomington, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame are included in the "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges."

The list includes facts and statistics on schools' environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings.

"Among 7,445 college applicants who participated in our 2012 College Hopes & Worries Survey, nearly seven out of 10 told us that having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school," Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of the Princeton Review, said in a news release.

Ball State was recognized for its two-phase, 10-year project to convert its boiler system into an environmentally friendly geothermal system that will save the university up to $2 million a year in operating costs and cut its carbon footprint almost in half.

Earlham College, in Richmond, created a real-time energy monitoring project that "measures energy usage of entire campus in 60-second snapshots."

"Earlham College was founded on the Quaker belief in equality -- by custom each person addresses each other by his or her first name -- so it's no surprise that this hospitality has been extended to the environment and its sustainability," the report reads.

IU, which made the list for the first time this year, was recognized for its Office of Sustainability, which was established in 2009 and employs two full-time staff and 18 interns, and its Campus Sustainability Board, which is composed of 40 representatives of faculty, staff and students and incorporates nearly 200 volunteers.

"I'm pleased to see our administration, faculty, staff and student leaders receive recognition for their tireless efforts to make IU Bloomington a more sustainable campus," IU Director of Sustainability Bill Brown said in a news release. "We are just getting started and we have a long way to go, but it is great to be recognized for excellence along the way."

Purdue University achieved an impressive 77 percent waste diversion rate in 2011 with the Dual Stream Recycling Program, which removed trash cans from all desks on campus, according to the report.

The University of Notre Dame was recognized for expanding its Office of Sustainability to include three full-time staff and seven interns.

"The university is amidst a $10 million investment in energy conservation projects in more than 70 buildings and has established a $2 million Green Loan Fund to support capital projects that save energy and natural resources," the report reads.

The criteria for the list were created in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.

The free guide can be downloaded from the Princeton Review's website.

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