Newswise — Stony Brook, NY, April 25, 2014 – Stony Brook University was recognized twice during a week of Earth Day celebrations for environmental stewardship programs that place it as a leader in sustainability among all U.S. university and college campuses. The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) named Stony Brook as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly or “green” colleges for the fifth year in a row, and, in the RecycleMania 2014 tournament, Stony Brook finished strongly in multiple categories, and recycled the most e-waste of all colleges and universities for the second straight year.
“I am extremely proud and very impressed by the efforts of our students, faculty and staff to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President of Stony Brook University. “We are extremely competitive with great results in RecycleMania, but more important is the end result – living more responsibly with an eye toward environmental stewardship, hence our designation by the Princeton Review Guide to Green Campuses. These results reflect a true commitment from everyone on the Stony Brook campus.”
The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges profiles institutions of higher education in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. As the leader in its total quantity of recycled e-waste, Stony Brook surpassed the second place finisher by 45,000 pounds, with a total of 125,498 pounds of e-waste recycling. Of the 68 colleges and universities listed in the Recyclemania 2014 competition, Stony Brook ranked fifth overall.
The Guide characterizes Stony Brook University as an institution with “a long history of green awareness and environmental sustainability.” It cites the University’s eight-year initiative to reduce utility costs by investing in facility infrastructure improvements that “continue to reduce energy costs in excess of $4 million annually.” It also highlights Stony Brook as the home to many buildings with green features, including the Advanced Energy Center, Frey Hall, the Marine Sciences Research Center, Nobel Halls, the Simons Center for Geometry & Physics, the Student Recreation Center, Southampton Library and West Side Dining. In addition, the Guide cites Stony Brook’s use of a variety of solar and energy-efficient solutions, including LED lighting, and its recent partnering with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to create a campus Master Energy Plan.
According to Barbara Chernow, Senior Vice President for Administration, “Stony Brook University’s commitment to sustainability permeates throughout our administrative, facilities and academic programs and is highlighted by our green buildings, energy efficiency initiatives, alternative transportation services and comprehensive recycling programs. To date, our University has lowered its carbon footprint by 17.4% and is committed to carbon neutrality.”
“SUNY campuses across the state are among the most energy-smart in the nation, a leadership role that we continue to build upon through the expanded use of green technologies and sustainability initiatives,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to Stony Brook University and all 10 SUNY campuses to be included in the 2014 Guide to Green Colleges. This recognition is much deserved and highly commendable.”
To develop the 2014 Guide, The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council, a national nonprofit organization best-known for developing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools in 2010 to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed, and operated.
According to Rob Franek, Senior Vice President and Publisher of The Princeton Review, today’s college-bound students have a significant interest in green issues. In a survey or more than 10,000 college applicants, the company found that 61 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply or attend the school.
“We are pleased to recommend Stony Brook University to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally responsible choices and practices,” said Franek.
Stony Brook University’s history of green awareness goes back to 1967, when the Environmental Defense Fund, which advocates using science, economics, and law to tackle environmental problems, was co-founded by a Stony Brook professor. Since then, Stony Brook University has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, created an Office of Sustainability and has integrated sustainability into administrative, facilities and academic programs. Today, the university’s comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program includes bachelor’s degrees in everything from Marine Science to Environmental Humanities.
Stony Brook offers degrees in Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences, Environmental Design, Policy and Planning, Ecosystems and Human Impact, Sustainability Studies, Coastal Environmental Studies and Business Management with a specialization in Sustainability, which is instrumental in equipping and training the next generation of green leaders.