SUNY - Stony Brook University has been selected by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly or “green” colleges for the fourth year in a row in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition.” Stony Brook also just received good news in the RecycleMania 2013 competition; the University recycled the most total pounds of e-waste of all colleges and universities in the nation, and captured the coveted prize of recycling the most bottles, cans, cardboard and paper out of all SUNY colleges and universities.
The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges profiles 320 institutions of higher education in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
The guide notes that all new buildings at Stony Brook are being designed with green attributes, and “The Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center is one of only 25 buildings with a LEED Platinum rating in the country, and the first LEED Platinum rated building in New York State.” It also highlights Stony Brook’s efforts to decrease utility costs, “The University participates in a program offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to implement energy conservation projects and to fund these projects through the savings on utility bills, an effort that will save the university more than $300,000 per month.”
According to Barbara Chernow, Senior Vice President for Administration at Stony Brook, who oversees campus sustainability initiatives, Stony Brook University has been engaged in sustainable operational practices for more than 20 years. Chernow added that the University’s sustainability program initiatives are highlighted on a web-based, interactive "Green Map."
“SUNY’s commitment to an energy-smart New York and to sustainability throughout our system is a critical component of our strategic plan, one that our campuses have widely embraced and consistently shown leadership on,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to the eight SUNY campuses listed in the 2013 Guide to Green Colleges. This recognition is much deserved and highly commendable.”
To develop the 2013 Guide, The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council, a national nonprofit organization best-known for developing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools in 2010 to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed, and operated.
According to Rob Franek, Senior Vice President and Publisher of The Princeton Review, today’s college-bound students have a significant interest in green issues. “We recommend these schools to all students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices.” The Guide celebrates colleges that are “taking a system-wide approach to sustainability, from cutting-edge classroom facilities to healthier residence halls to curriculum innovations,” he said.
According to Rachel Gutter, director of the United States Green Building Council, “When we learned that the majority of prospective college students factor a school’s commitment to sustainability into their selection criteria, we wanted to ensure we were providing the best information.”
Stony Brook University has a long history of green awareness. The Environmental Defense Fund, which advocates using science, economics, and law to tackle environmental problems, was co-founded by a Stony Brook professor in 1967. Since then, Stony Brook University has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and created an Environmental Stewardship department. Today, the university’s comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program includes bachelor’s degrees in everything from Marine Science to Environmental Humanities.
Stony Brook offers degrees in Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences, Environmental Design, Policy and Planning, Ecosystems and Human Impact, Sustainability Studies, Coastal Environmental Studies and Business Management with a specialization in Sustainability, which is instrumental in equipping and training the next generation of green leaders.