Stony Brook University’s commitment to sustainability has earned it a place in The Princeton Review’s 2011 Guide to 311 Green Colleges.
“The State University of New York—Stony Brook University has a long history of green awareness: The Environmental Defense Fund, which advocates using science, economics, and law to tackle environmental problems, was co-founded by a Stony Brook professor in 1967,” according to the Guide’s listing. “Since then, Stony Brook University has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, created an environmental stewardship department, and established a five-year plan. Today, the University’s comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program includes bachelor’s degrees in everything from Marine Science to Environmental Humanities.”
The guide notes that all new buildings at Stony Brook are being designed with green attributes, and that the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center will be one of only 25 buildings with a LEED Platinum rating in the country, and the first LEED Platinum rated building in New York State.
According to Barbara Chernow, Vice President for Facilities and Services, who, with help from Amy Provenzano, Executive Director of Environmental Stewardship, oversees campus sustainability initiatives, Stony Brook University has been engaged in sustainable operational practices for more than 20 years, with an increased focus taking shape in 2005.
“We formed the Department of Environmental Stewardship in 2005 to firmly solidify our commitment to sustainability campuswide,” said Chernow. “In 2007, the Environmental Stewardship Department formed a Sustainability Task Force, which meets monthly throughout the academic year and is comprised of students, faculty, staff, and the Faculty Student Association. These groups, under Amy’s leadership, are at the heart of our program success, and with this commitment, Stony Brook has established itself as a leader in social, economic, and technological efforts to advance sustainability, reduce energy use, and minimize environmental impact.”
Chernow adds that the University’s sustainability program initiatives are highlighted on a web-based, interactive Green Map.
The Princeton Review’s Guide profiles 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation. The 220-page guide is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges. The full list is available as a free download at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and at www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide
To develop the 2011 Guide, The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), an outstanding national nonprofit organization best-known for developing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. This past fall, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed, and operated.
According to Rob Franek, Senior Vice President and Publisher of The Princeton Review, colleges on the list showed “an exceptional commitment to sustainability in terms of innovative curriculum, campus culture, infrastructure and preparing today’s students for the green careers of tomorrow.” The Guide celebrates colleges that are “taking a system-wide approach to sustainability, from cutting-edge classroom facilities to healthier residence halls to curriculum innovations,” he said.
According to Rachel Gutter, Director of the United States Green Building Council, the Guide “gives parents and student some insight into schools that are leading the sustainability movement by improving buildings, grounds, transportation and course offerings, from water efficiency to CO2 emissions reductions to new majors in ecological engineering and environmental policy.”