Princeton Review Recognizes UT Dallas for Sustainable Practices
April 24, 2014
Dr. Scott Rippel’s Honey Bee Biology course is among the University’s sustainability-focused classes.
For the third consecutive year, UT Dallas has earned recognition as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada in The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges.
UT Dallas, one of seven universities in Texas to make this year’s list, was commended for establishing an Office of Sustainability, which seeks to “mitigate UT Dallas’ footprint on the environment, to raise visibility and awareness of environmental issues on campus and our community, and to engage UT Dallas students, faculty and staff in developing sustainable policies and practices.” The office works with other departments on campus to organize environmentally focused events, such as this week’s Earth Week, and supports organizations such as the Community Garden and Green People, a new student organization.
In addition to incorporating sustainable building practices and using only Green Seal cleaning products on campus, the University was applauded for its growing recycling and composting programs. UT Dallas recycled 215,487 pounds of paper last year, in addition to collecting cardboard, aluminum, plastic, ink cartridges and other recyclable materials to minimize the amount of waste it sends to the landfill. Food scraps from the dining hall and landscaping debris are also repurposed to support the University’s internal composting program.
UT Dallas' transportation options include two campus Zipcar locations, a car-sharing program for students, faculty and staff.
“It has been exciting and extremely rewarding to see the increase in environmental initiatives on campus,” said Thea Junt, UT Dallas energy conservation and sustainability manager. “The University’s sustainability program started through Facilities Management and our green building projects. Now, we have green student programming, like Earth Week, and continue to build sustainability into our coursework.”
The University is growing its sustainability-focused course offerings with research at the Renewable Energy and Vehicular Technology (REVT) Laboratory and classes such as Honey Bee Biology, Future Energy Resources and The Oceans. It has also made transportation alternatives available to the campus community, including the Zipcar vehicle sharing program, discounted DART transit passes and free Comet Cruiser and Comet Cab campus shuttles.
“We are proud of the efforts our campus has made to achieve this honor,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for the Office of Administration. “Our hope is that as the University continues to grow, our sustainability program will become even more comprehensive for students, faculty and staff. In addition to enhancing our campus, it continues to be a competitive advantage because of the environment we’ve created and the impact it will have on the next generation.”
The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a survey it conducted in 2013 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges to measure the schools' commitment to the environment and to sustainability. The institutional survey included questions on the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The 2014 edition of the guidebook is free to download and offers profiles of each school with a special focus on sustainability initiatives.