Commitment to Environment Earns UMass Amherst a Profile in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to the just-released second edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges, created in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. The guide cited several large-scale building initiatives at UMass Amherst, including the award-winning, co-generating Central Heating Plant and a $43 million energy conservation contract with Johnson Controls. Also noted are the campus’ efforts to conserve water by installing more efficient plumbing fixtures and using treated effluent from a municipal water treatment facility at the Central Heating Plant. In addition, the campus has created green building design guidelines to ensure that new buildings are as sustainable as possible, notes the guide. The profile also mentions the use of biodiesel fuel by UMass Fleet Services and the campus’ 56 percent recycling rate through programs operated by the Office of Waste Management. UMass Dining Services was recognized for using 25 percent of its produce budget to purchase locally grown products. On the academic side, says the guide, the College of Natural Sciences "provides in-depth advisement and guidance on ‘green’ jobs using an established network of local and national contacts and internships sites in the green industry." The campus'' newly approved M.S. program in sustainability studies was also highlighted. The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges is the only free, comprehensive guidebook profiling institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the 311 schools based on a survey it conducted in 2010 of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada to tally its annual "Green Rating" scores (scaled from 60 to 99) of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The survey asked administrators more than 50 questions about their institution''s sustainability related policies, practices and programs. The company tallied Green Ratings for 703 institutions in summer 2010. The 311 schools in this guide received scores of 80 or above in that assessment. Schools in the guide are not ranked. To download a copy of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges, go to www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx or www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide