HWS Named Princeton Review’s Greenest – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Named Princeton Review’s Greenest

Hobart and William Smith Colleges again have been named among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The Colleges were included in the fourth annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.”

“This year’s sustainability recognition is marked by significant volunteer effort from our environmental representatives with the Green Room Certification and pilot of the Green Office and Energy Dashboard system,” explains James Landi ’08, sustainability manager. “I’m excited and honored by Princeton Review’s recognition of these and all of our sustainability efforts.”

The 322 school profiles in the guide feature essential information for applicants – facts and stats on school demographics, admission, financial aid – plus write-ups on the schools’ specific sustainability initiatives.  A “Green Facts” sidebar reports on a wide range of topics from the school’s use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.

The guide notes: “At HWS, vast natural resources are used to the fullest through a ‘living laboratory’ approach. For instance, a class project led to the Finger Lakes Institute’s renovation, where the use of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, combined with the implementation of measures to improve energy and water conservation, qualified the FLI for the Energy Star Small Business Award.”  

It also references the Colleges’ commitments to green power, student involvement and employment opportunities. “HWS recently announced that 100 percent of electricity on campus now comes from wind energy, making it the first small liberal arts college in the state to be powered entirely by wind. The president of the HWS Campus Greens sits in on the Sustainability Executive committee -The President’s Climate Task Force. Students have environmental course options in myriad departments, and research opportunities abound. HWS students will undoubtedly be among the top of the pack in the green job market; the Department of Career Services maintains a fulltime counselor with a focus on career development, internship and job opportunities in the environmental sector.”

Among the Colleges’ campus-wide sustainability efforts are the successful implementation of the Eco-Rep Program, the “Caught Green Handed” campaign, participation for the past five years in national recycling competition RecycleMania, and such recent programs as the Green Room Certification and Green Office Certification. Additionally, the Colleges compost nearly 100 percent of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste from their dining facilities and more than 80 percent of HWS’ cleaning materials are green certified.

“We are truly pleased to recommend Hobart and William Smith Colleges along with all of the fine schools in this book to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices,” says Robert Franek, senior vice president/publisher, The Princeton Review.

Franek noted his company’s recent survey indicates significant interest among college applicants in attending “green” colleges. “Among 9,955 college applicants who participated in our 2013 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ 62 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,” he says. 

The Princeton Review created its “Guide to 322 Green Colleges” in partnership with the Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org) at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)), with generous support from United Technologies Corp. (www.utc.com), founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.

Hobart and William Smith are a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Earlier this spring, the Colleges were named as finalists for the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards. Last summer, HWS received a 2012 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earlier in the year, the EPA recognized the Colleges as the top green power purchaser among colleges and universities in the Liberty League, using more green power than any other school in the league. Also last year, Sierra Magazine again ranked HWS as among “America’s Coolest Schools,” and the Colleges were recognized by the Sustainability Endowment Institute in 2011, when it assigned HWS a grade of B+ in its annual Sustainability Report Card.