University of Idaho Ranked in Top 286 Green Colleges Nationwide

Thursday, April 22 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is one of the country’s most environmentally-responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review, which recently ranked the university as one of the nation's top 286 green colleges.

Developed in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, this is the first guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

Timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the free guide can be downloaded at

University of Idaho earned its place in the guide through activities such as launching a campus Sustainability Center and establishing a policy that all new construction and major renovations on campus meet LEED Silver standards. The university has allocated $35 million for energy conservation projects; lighting initiatives alone save the university $200,000 per year in electricity cost savings.

“Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review. “According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it.”

The University of Idaho Sustainability Center appeals to prospective students interested in building “green” skills, as it offers several ways for students to get involved in creating a more sustainable campus. The center engaged more than 750 students in environmental service-learning activities in fall 2009 alone, and has funded over $200,000 in sustainability grant projects. More than half of the center’s staff is students, who organize educational events and volunteer opportunities and create a hands-on learning environment in which students teach other students about sustainability issues.

As increasing environmental awareness drives interest in sustainable practices, the University of Idaho continues to seek carbon reduction initiatives to meet the current and future needs of society and to contribute to the quality of life and the natural resources in Idaho, the nation and the world. The University of Idaho emitted 38,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2007, which equals 3.59 tons per student. The university has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has begun the work to reduce carbon emissions across operations. For more information about the university’s sustainability efforts, contact the University of Idaho Sustainability Center at or visit
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit