AMHERST, Mass. – 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 361 Green Colleges.”
Ranked 41st, 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.
The guide also notes UMass Amherst’s use of local and organic food as well as its formal sustainability committee, sustainability officer and a public greenhouse gas inventory plan. Also highlighted is the availability of a sustainability-focused degree program. Twenty-five of nearly 90 undergraduate majors are sustainability-related, while more than 300 courses include some sustainability emphasis. Also, three new graduate programs encourage advanced study in sustainability, including an accelerated master’s in sustainability science.
The guide also notes the Eco-Rep program in residence halls and the Permaculture Initiative.
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 2016 for 640 colleges using data from its 2015-16 survey of campus administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into the guide. Most of the schools (350) in the newest edition are in the U.S., while 10 are in Canada and one is in Egypt.