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Stony Brook Named the #4 “Environmentally Responsible University” in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges

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As Stony Brook University readies for its annual week-long “Earthstock” celebration leading up to Earth Day on April 22, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition announced that the University ranked the #4 most environmentally responsible “green” college. The Guide to Green Colleges is the only free, comprehensive resource identifying colleges with exemplary commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities. Schools were also ranked based on their 2014 Green Rating score (of 60 to 99), which Stony Brook ranked 99 – the highest score possible.

“Environmental stewardship is a commitment the University makes to students, faculty and staff; and together we are committed to the community at large,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “Implementation of green technologies, resources, and sustainability initiatives is an investment that not only impacts the future of Stony Brook but our collective future. We share this outstanding distinction with the entire Campus community.”

Stony Brook has a long history of green awareness and environmental sustainability. It began with the Environmental Defense Fund which was cofounded in 1967 by Dr. Robert E. Smolker, a professor of Biological Sciences at Stony Brook University. Since then Stony Brook signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), created an Office of Sustainability and integrates sustainability into its facilities and services programs. The University also offers a comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program which offers five majors, six minors and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems, as well as a Fast-track BA-MBA.

As a recognized leader in the field of sustainability and included in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for the past six years, Stony Brook University takes pride in the numerous initiatives that led to the recognition. They include:

  • Recycled the most e-waste nationally in RecycleMania 2013 & 2014 competitions, and placed 1st in SUNY in the Gorilla category in 2013 & 2012;
  • “Tree Campus USA” designation in 2013 and 2014 by the National Arbor Day Foundation, in recognition of the university’s dedication to the five core standards that promote the health of trees and student involvement to improve their forests;
  • Designated a 2014 Groundwater Guardian Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation in recognition of its groundwater and environmental stewardship;
  • Stony Brook finished in 1st Place in the University category of Car Free Day Long Island 2013 and 2014 by having its community pledge to be car free;
  • University vehicles are powered by a variety of sustainable propulsion systems, including bio-diesel/ultra-low sulfur diesel, hybrid and electric only;
  • Actively promotes biking on campus: solar powered “Wolf Ride Bike Share” program, expansive Paul Simons Memorial Bicycle Path, bicycle lockers, and bike racks on Stony Brook’s Transit vehicles;
  • University partners with various entities, including Suffolk Transit and 7Bus, to offer enhanced mass transit alternatives;
  • Multiple solar installations, including arrays that partially power buildings, metered parking lots and exterior lighting;
  • Energy performance contracts have been utilized to implement a variety of building energy efficiency initiatives (such as lighting, HVAC), and have saved over $35 million since 2006-07;
  • University uses energy efficient lighting, including LED, induction and fluorescent fixtures, as well as occupancy sensors in a variety of locations on campus;
  • University dining halls use biodegradable food packaging, offer reusable dining plates/utensils and recycle over 5,000 gallons of kitchen compost annually using an on campus, in-vessel food waste composter;
  • During the growing season, organic student vegetable gardenprovides dining hall with herbs and fresh vegetables;
  • Implemented managed print initiative, which promotes networked printing, toner/e-waste recycling and buying of recycled paper;
  • Stony Brook operates a total of 10 electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) on its main and R&D Park campuses;
  • Since 2006-07, Stony Brook has planted over 4,900 trees, saplings, bushes and perennials using an on campus greenhouse and nursery;
  • In 2014, the University unveiled its Building Dashboard system, which provides real time energy consumption and sustainability initiative information online;
  • Stony Brook awarded 2015 Green Cleaning Awards Honorable Mention by American Schools and University magazine for its healthy and sustainable cleaning methods.

Additionally, Stony Brook is home to a variety of buildings with green features, including the Advanced Energy Center, Frey Hall, Marine Sciences Research Center, Nobel Halls, Simons Center for Geometry & Physics, Walter J. Hawrys Student Recreation Center, Southampton Library and West Side Dining.

The 218-page Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition is downloadable at The profiles in the guide also give prospective college applicants information about each Stony Brook’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, as well as student body facts and stats.

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