SMCM Named "Green" College - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMCM Named "Green" College

ST. MARY’S CITY, Md.—St. Mary’s College of Maryland is one of the 332 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company known for its test prep programs and college rankings, ratings, and guidebooks profiles St. Mary’s College in the fifth annual edition of its downloadable book, “The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges," published April 17—a few days before the April 22 celebration of Earth Day.

In partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, The Princeton Review chose the schools for the guide based on a survey it conducted in 2013 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability. The institutional survey included questions on the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

The 322 school profiles in the guide feature essential information for applicants – facts and stats on school demographics, admission, financial aid, and write-ups on the schools' sustainability initiatives. A "Green Facts" sidebar reports on a wide range of topics from the school's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs, to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.

"We are pleased to recommend St. Mary’s College of Maryland to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices,” said Rob Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review.

Franek noted his company's recent survey findings indicating significant interest among college applicants in attending "green" colleges. "Among 10,116 college applicants who participated in our 2014 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' 61% said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school," he said.

St. Mary’s College’s green highlights include:

-- The college derives 63 percent of its energy consumption from renewable sources, and offsets approximately 115 percent of total electricity consumption through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

-- The college’s Sustainability Committee has established a Climate Action Plan that will help it reach its campus-wide goal of becoming climate neutral.

-- The college established an arboretum committee, which works to reduce storm water runoff and protect the Chesapeake Bay by planting trees and installing rain gardens and bioswales.

-- The college pledged that all new construction on campus will seek LEED Silver, at a minimum.

-- Eighty percent of campus buildings have undergone energy-related retrofits.

-- The college offers sustainable research opportunities in biology, economics, mathematics, and public policy.

-- Forty-five percent of food expenditures on campus go toward local and/or organic foods.

The Princeton Review does not rank the schools 1 to 332, nor does it report their Green Rating scores in its book.

Source: SMCM

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