Princeton Review: Western One of Nation’s ‘Greenest’ Colleges

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 3:30pm

Contact: Seth Vidana, WWU Office of Sustainability, (360) 650-2491

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University was included in the Princeton Review’s guide saluting the most environmentally responsible "green colleges."

Published April 16, a few days before the April 22 celebration of Earth Day, the Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition profiles 320 schools in the U.S. and two in Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

"Western's inclusion in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges reflects the commitment of Western students, staff and faculty to creating a sustainable campus community.” said Steve Hollenhorst, dean of WWU Huxley College of the Environment and co-chair of Western's Sustainability Committee. “All over campus, people are making changes, big and small, in how they operate, do business, study, and teach.”

A few Western highlights:

  • Western’s student-run campus recycling program – begun in 1971 and one of the nation’s first – processes 3,800 pounds of recyclable materials daily.
  • As a result of the student-led Green Power initiative, Western offsets 100 percent of its electrical energy consumption with renewable energy credits.
  • WWU implemented the 10X12 program, which sought a 10 percent energy reduction by 2012 through conservation, energy efficiency and other means.
  • Western is a nationally recognized leader in green cleaning by Academic Custodial Services

The Princeton Review created its "Guide to 322 Green Colleges" in partnership with the Center for Green Schools ( at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted in 2012 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges.  Analysis of data from the survey included the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

Western scored a 91 on a scale from 60-99.

The Princeton Review, one of the nation's best known education services companies, first published this one-of-a-kind resource in 2010 in collaboration with USGBC. That year USGBC, widely known for developing the LEED green building rating system, launched the Center for Green Schools at USGBC to increase efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed, maintained and operated so that all educational facilities can enhance student learning experiences.