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Auburn named ‘green college,' only University in the state

Auburn University was named one of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges.

Auburn was the only university in the state to be included in the list, according to Mike Kensler, director of the Office of Sustainability.

More than 2,000 schools were considered for the guide before the 353 featured schools were selected according to Kensler.

Kensler said the schools were chosen based on the criteria in a survey compiled by The Princeton Review, which determines the level of focus that the university puts on fostering a green environment on their campuses including energy conservation plan, food waste, sustainability academic programs, public transportation efficiency and presence of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings.

LEED buildings criteria include energy efficiency, water efficiency, building health responsible construction, design and management, according to Kensler.

Kensler said buildings are inspected to make sure the building is built to LEED standards. If the building meets those requirements it is designated as either a gold, silver or bronze LEED building. Auburn has two gold and two silver LEED certified buildings.

Director of academic sustainability programs Nannette Chadwick said it is the goal of academic sustainability programs to educate students on sustainability.

“It is our ultimate goal to expose every student to sustainability,” Chadwick said.

According to Chadwick, The Princeton Review’s naming of Auburn to the 2015 Green Colleges Guide shows excellence in academics.

“I think this is wonderful recognition of our sustainability programs,” Chadwick said.

Office of Sustainability communications and outreach manager Jennifer Morse said she feels perspective students considering Auburn, who are concerned with their schools involvement in green initiatives, will be impressed with Auburn’s inclusion in the Guide to Green Colleges.

“If for example a student is looking at school in Alabama and Georgia,” Morse said. “They can get the degree they want at the following colleges, but, if they see that Auburn is listed in the Green Guide, they maybe more likely to choose Auburn.”

According to Morse, new projects, such as the Gotcha Bike program and Auburn’s recent application to become a part of a program that designates campuses as bike friendly, are examples of how Auburn is furthering its commitment to sustainable practices.

“Within the next year, these will add to the list of initiatives at Auburn,” Morse said.

Kensler said, in looking ahead to the future years for consideration to The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges, Auburn would continue to pursue goals of maintaining its place as one of the greenest colleges in the nation.

“We would like to see enhanced use of green infrastructure and increase our use of renewable energy,” Kensler said.

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