Elon University named a ‘Green College’ by The Princeton Review

The university was selected for the list from a pool of more than 800 schools and recognized for its sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.

Elon University has been named to a list of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges and universities by The Princeton Review.

“The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges 2022 edition” profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities. Published Oct. 26, the ranking can be accessed at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The profiles in the guide provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body statistics. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives on campus and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

“Given the sobering indicators of climate change and global calls to prioritize sustainability, we are pleased to shine a light on these schools and recommend them for their exceptional commitment to the environment,” said Rob Franek, Editor in Chief of The Princeton Review. “We are equally pleased to have curated this guide for twelve years as a free resource for students who want to live and learn at a green college.”

Elon has been included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for each of the 12 years the guide has been published.

The Princeton Review selected 420 colleges and universities out of the 835 it surveyed during the 2020-21 academic year, with the survey including questions that covered more than 25 data points.

Among the initiatives The Princeton Review took note of was Elon Dining’s “Green and Go” reusable food container program.

Franek noted that 78 percent of the 11,133 college applicants responding to the company’s 2021 College Hopes & Worries Survey said that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a school. That figure was a 12-percentage point increase over the 66 percent of applicants who responded the same way on the company’s 2020 survey.

Elon earned a “green rating” of 90 out of a possible 99.

Among the initiatives and policies noted by The Princeton Review:

  • Student peer educators known as Eco-Reps raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage environmentally responsible behavior of fellow students.
  • Environmental speakers, documentary screenings, energy reduction competitions and Earth Week are all designed to promote positive sustainable change.
  • The composting initiative has moved beyond the dining halls. The campus grounds have also benefitted, with the university collecting and composting its yard waste. In a typical year, around 100 tons of compost are produced from yard waste collected.
  • In campus dining halls, students go trayless in an effort to reduce water usage and food waste. Dining services has a composting program for pre- and post-consumer food waste.