Fairfield University joins the ranks of outstanding universities nationwide leading the green movement in "Guide to 286 Green Colleges"


Image: Fairfield 350Fairfield University has extra reason to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day today. The university was just named among the country's most environmentally responsible institutions by the Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council.

Fairfield was included in the "Guide to 286 Green Colleges," a resource focusing solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

Developed by the Princeton Review, in partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it serves as a guide for college applicants, and is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide. Schools were not ranked hierarchically. (The free resource can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide.)

"According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review.

David Frassinelli, assistant vice president and director of facilities management at Fairfield, is chair of the university's sustainability committee - comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and students - overseeing environmentally responsible initiatives. "This news is gratifying, especially as Fairfield continues to reduce its campus carbon footprint. The university has achieved a seven percent reduction in total annual carbon emissions in the last year."

In its profile of Fairfield, the Princeton Review observed, "the university has signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and has started the long work of greening its campus."

"A cohort of environmental students" was recognized for helping with an initial energy study of the campus. The resource also noted that there are lots of avenues for students to get involved in the campus green movement, and there are multiple student-driven events. It also observed Fairfield offers an environmental studies program - the Program on the Environment examines the environment across a variety of disciplines.

Fairfield is "making its energy use more environmentally-friendly through its combined heat and power plant, a rare sight on most campuses."

Fairfield also received high marks for new building standards requiring sustainable products; and installing eco-friendly plumbing fixtures and light systems.

The Princeton Review chose the 286 schools included in the Guide based on the "Green Rating" scores the schools received in summer 2009 when the Princeton Review published Green Rating scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks. Of 697 schools that the Princeton Review gave "Green Ratings" to, the 286 schools in the new guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile.

Image: Eco-friendly student-driven events were cited by the Princeton Review in its naming of Fairfield University as an environmentally responsible school. Pictured here are Fairfield students who organized the '350' project that raised awareness of global climate change.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 22, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 277