AMHERST, Mass. – As the nation marks Earth Day, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is rated as one of the top 50 most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the just-released The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges.
Ranked 21st, UMass Amherst is cited for its alternative transportation options, including the bike share program provided by the Student Government Association, facilities for cyclists, a car-sharing program, carpooling and ridesharing, and transit services for students, faculty and staff, and a policy against motor vehicle idling.
The guide also notes that UMass Amherst has a formal sustainability committee, a sustainability officer and a public greenhouse gas inventory plan. Also highlighted is the availability of a sustainability-focused degree program. Other benchmarks include diversion of 57 percent of campus waste from landfills and that all new construction is 100 percent LEED- certified.
The Princeton Review chose schools based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied in summer 2014 for 861 colleges using data from its 2013-14 survey of campus administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment, which resulted in a score of 99 for UMass Amherst. Schools with Green Rating scores of 83 or higher made it into the guide. Most of the schools (347) in the newest edition are in the U.S., while five are in Canada and one is in Egypt.
Green Rating scores are not included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges, but can be found in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review books The Best 379 Colleges and The Complete Book of Colleges, published in August 2014.
Information about Princeton Review’s Green Rating and its Green Honor Roll saluting schools that received the highest possible score is at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.