Rider University featured in Princeton Review's 2016 green college guide
Rider University is one of the 361 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S., according to The Princeton Review. It is the seventh year in a row the University has been named in this guide.
"Sustainability at Rider has had a measurable impact over the last seven years," says Melissa Greenberg, Rider's sustainability manager. "We've reduced our overall carbon emissions and saved money in the form of a reduction in purchased electricity and solid waste removal. We've also seen an increased interest and awareness from our students in the area of environmental sustainability."
The education services company features Rider in the 2016 edition of its free book,The Princeton Review Guide to 361 Green Colleges. Published Oct. 4, the free, 160-page guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.
The Princeton Review, which is known for its test prep and tutoring services, books, and college rankings, chose the schools for this seventh annual edition of its "green guide" based on data from the company's 2015-16 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools' commitments to the environment and sustainability.
"We strongly recommend Rider and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's senior vice president-publisher.
Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. "Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61% told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college."
The profiles in The Princeton Review's Guide to 361 Green Colleges provide information about each school's admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include "Green Facts" about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.
“Broncs Go Green” is the driving force for sustainability initiatives on Rider’s two campuses in Lawrenceville and Princeton, defined by the four R’s: reduce, reuse, refuse (the purchase of non-sustainable goods) and recycle. Rider’s Office of Sustainability leads the effort to establish a more environmentally aware campus. In addition to Greenberg, the office includes an Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee, a team of student Eco-Reps a volunteer “green team,” and a Student Government Association (SGA) Environmental Chair.
Greenberg has completed three greenhouse gas inventories and a carbon neutrality plan as well as given input on the sustainable features included in campus construction projects. These projects include a LEED Silver residence hall completed in March 2010; a LEED Gold academic building completed in July 2012; and a new academic building completed in August 2014 that was recently awarded a LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
A guiding principle of Rider’s Energy and Sustainability Master Plan is to increase and strengthen student involvement. Students have the opportunity to apply for a job as an Eco-Rep or join the Rider Green Team. The Student Government Association has an elected Environmental Chair to help green student groups and their activities on campus. Students can also choose to take courses with an environmental focus and participate in research projects.
Rider also offers a growing minor in sustainability studies. Students are encouraged by faculty to attend the successful Rider Green Film and Speaker Series, now in its seventh year.
A United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Student Club was formed and elected a board in 2015. Rider’s procurement policy has already led to 80 percent of the school’s cleaning products being Green Seal-certified. In the early fall of 2014, Rider finished construction of a Trigeneration plant that provides more than a megawatt of power in addition to hot and chilled water to buildings in the academic.
"We still have more work to do, but the foundation is solid and we will continue to build from there," Greenberg says.
The Princeton Review first published this guide in 2010. It remains the only free, annually updated downloadable guide to green colleges. The company is also known for its dozens of categories of college rankings in its annual books, The Best 381 Colleges and Colleges That Pay You Back.
The Princeton Review chose the colleges 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 school 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. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. Most of the schools (350) in this edition are in the U.S. Ten are in Canada. One is in Egypt.