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

The university was recognized for standing out within a pool of more than 700 schools for its sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.

Elon University has again been recognized for being among the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges and universities by The Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges 2024 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. The list was published Oct. 24.

“Being included in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges again this year demonstrates Elon’s continued commitment to sustainability,” said Senior Director of Sustainability Elaine Durr. “It’s also recognition for the many individuals on campus who contribute to Elon’s sustainability efforts.”

The profiles in the guide provide information about each school’s admissions 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 and organic food.

“With increasing concern about climate change, particularly among younger people who will be most affected by its long-term impact, we are seeing increasing interest among college applicants in attending green colleges,” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review. “We are proud to shine our light on these exceptional schools. We recommend them enthusiastically to students who want their ‘best-fit’ college also to be a green one.”

Elon Dining offers reusable food containers through its ReusePass program, just one of many sustainability efforts on campus.

In announcing the list of “Green Colleges,” Franek noted that 69 percent of the 8,800 college applicants who participated in The Princeton Review’s 2023 College Hopes & Worries Survey said information about a college’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend the school.

Elon has been included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for each of the 14 years the guide has been published. This year, Elon earned a “green rating” of 93 out of a possible 99.

Among Elon’s initiatives and policies that contributed to its recognition as a “Green College”:

  • 65% of academic departments have sustainability course offerings and faculty engaged in sustainability research.
  • The Eco-Reps program provides opportunities for students to learn about sustainability issues from their peers in a variety of ways (e.g., residential neighborhood programs, Sustainable Living Lessons, Guided Campus Sustainability Tours).
  • The Elon University Botanical Garden has a Level II Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum.
  • Elon has a Green Building Policy and uses the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program for major new construction projects. Elon has 33 LEED certifications, which is about 32% of campus building square footage.
    Since 2005, energy consumption per square foot has decreased 36%, even though square footage has more than doubled.