Dickinson Named a Top School for Sustainability

Picture of interior of Dickinson Greenhouse

Dickinson is one of the top colleges nationally for sustainability, according to The Princeton Review's 2014 Green Rating Honor Roll. Of the 832 schools reviewed, only 22 were named to the Honor Roll, and Dickinson was the only Pennsylvania school.

Other colleges and universities that also received the highest score possible included Middlebury and Pomona colleges, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, American, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and University of California-Los Angeles.

The Princeton Review bases its Honor Roll on an institution's sustainability-related practices, policies and academics. The Honor Roll commended Dickinson for always looking to improve sustainability on campus and in students' lives, citing as an example the Center for Sustainability Education, which fosters learning opportunities that advance the knowledge and skills necessary for creating a just and sustainable world. Also highlighted was the 15-member President's Commission on Environmental Sustainability. This student-inclusive group focuses on how Dickinson can commit to a more sustainable future by reducing pollution, preserving natural resources, educating the community on environmental issues and developing initiatives to reduce both cost and consumption on campus.

The Princeton Review developed its Green Rating criteria to broadly cover three areas: whether the school's students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable; how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges; and the school's overall commitment to environmental issues.

Students are increasingly interested in attending a "green" college, according to The Princeton Review. In a 2013 survey of college applicants, 62 percent said having information about a college's commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a school.

As a national leader, the college has made sustainability a defining characteristic of a Dickinson education. The college offers more than 100 sustainability courses each year, integrated throughout the curriculum and across most majors-from environmental and Earth sciences, Japanese and English literature, international studies and international business & management to physics and biology, economics and psychology, anthropology and sociology. Students prepare by studying sustainability in the classroom and abroad, conducting research, advancing campus greening efforts, practicing sustainable living skills, working in internships and serving communities.

Using the campus as a living laboratory, students gain hands-on experience addressing and solving sustainability issues through initiatives such as the student-introduced Idea Fund, *the Center for Sustainable Living*, LEED Gold buildings, an organic farm, *water monitoring*, recycling and composting programs, and renewable energy efforts. In 2012-13, sustainability-related and -focused courses represented 14 percent of the curriculum with more than 60 percent of students taking at least one course and 30 percent taking two or more this past year; nearly 80 percent of the class of 2013 took one or more courses in their last two years of study. The environmental studies department, one of the oldest in the country, has more than four times the number of majors in the class of 2014 as it did in the class of 2007. *Learn more*.

Published Aug. 6, 2013