Our goal is to provide information to college-bound students that can help them find the right fit along the academic and financial dimensions, and also based on social criteria that's important to them.
Lawrenceville, NJ (Vocus) January 29, 2009
Sustainability initiatives on college campuses around the country vary from institution to institution, but recycling, the use of reusable energy, and environmentally responsible purchasing practices reveal that sustainability is important to schools and students alike.
According to preliminary data collection results of Peterson's first sustainability survey of both two- and four-year higher education institutions, nearly nine out of ten respondents so far indicated that they use and encourage non-paper alternatives to printing course schedules and catalogs, and also recycle computers and other technology tools on campus.
In college cafeterias around the country, more than two-thirds of survey respondents said that their school uses reusable food dishes, utilize bulk condiment dispensers, and decreased packaging for "to-go" food service purchases.
Roughly two out of three schools employ office supply exchanges that facilitate the reuse of materials, compost yard waste, and limit free printing in laboratories and libraries to save paper.
"Environmental responsibility is becoming an increasingly important factor not only for schools, but also for the students who are looking to or already attending these institutions," said Stephen Clemente, president of Peterson's, a leading education content provider in the United States. "Our goal is to provide information to college-bound students that can help them find the right fit along the academic and financial dimensions, and also based on social criteria that's important to them."
In terms of energy-related initiatives on college campuses, two out of three schools that responded to the Peterson's survey so far indicated that they use one or more sources of alternative power. Solar power seems to be the most widely used alternative energy source with nearly a third of the schools using it. Geothermal, hydropower, wind, and biomass power options are less popular but are still found on some campuses.
"When asked about their purchasing practices, more than three out of four schools say they rely on the Energy Star ratings to buy the most energy-efficient equipment possible," said Clemente.
Buying and using environmentally friendly cleaning products is also a top priority, with almost three quarters of the schools purchasing items that have been Green Seal-certified or Environmental Choice-certified.
About a quarter of the schools indicated that they make paper buying decisions based on environmentally preferable practices and also take into account vendors' codes of conduct when they purchase anything of significant quantity for their campus.
Peterson's Sustainability Survey effort is ongoing. Peterson's will report full results and include them in Peterson's first Green Guide to Colleges to be published in 2009.
For more information, write to sustainability @ Petersons.com.
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