Princeton Review: Clarkson One of Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges in U.S. & Canada

Clarkson University is one of the most environmentally responsible “green” colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.


The company selected Clarkson for inclusion in the just-released sixth-annual annual edition of its free, downloadable guide, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition.

Clarkson has a number of convention-defying environmental initiatives, including an innovative and integrated greenhouse to grow vegetables in cold climates, coupled with an anaerobic digester to convert food waste to energy and fertilizer.

Students learn how to integrate sustainability concepts into their lives and professions through a variety of curricular and extra-curricular programs. Most majors offer classes that are related to sustainability concepts and all students can direct their course choices to focus on sustainability by completing a minor in sustainable energy systems engineering or sustainable solutions for the developing world.

Clarkson University Student Center

Clarkson University Student Center

As part of its commitment to sustainability, Clarkson has also adopted green building policies, such as a commitment to meeting at least LEED Silver criteria on all current and future construction. Its Technology Advancement Center has achieved LEED Gold certification and its Student Center has achieved LEED Silver.

In 2014, Clarkson became a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Major recent changes to meet the requirements of this commitment include a change in their source of electricity and efficiency of electricity that will substantially reduce the use of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

Clarkson partnered with Community Energy Solar to receive funding from NYSERDA for the installation of a 2 megawatt solar photovoltaic system on Clarkson property. On-going efforts also include buying more small-scale hydroelectricity and rebuild the air chilling and ventilation system in the academic buildings on campus. It is expected that these actions will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by as much as 25 percent.

Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment sponsors workshops, seminars, and a small grants program, as well as undergraduate- and graduate-level research experiences on a variety of projects around renewable energy, clean water, and air quality. A new Sustainable Office Certification program has engaged more than a third of faculty and staff in challenges to reduce their energy and other resource use associated with their jobs.

Director of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment Philip K. Hopke, along with Associate Director of Sustainability Susan E. Powers, the Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems, help build sustainable practices into every aspect of campus life.

Speaking of the award, Dr. Powers said:

It is gratifying to see these efforts recognized by The Princeton Review and we can expect increased recognition going forward as our campus-wide efforts are recognized and we move to fulfill the commitments made in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. We look forward to continually improving our campus sustainability and using those opportunities to educate Clarkson students to be pro-active and leaders in the integration of sustainability in their professions.

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives, and activities. The profiles in the guide give college applicants information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, as well as student body facts and stats.

Said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Senior VP-Publisher:

Among nearly 10,000 teens who participated in our ‘2015 College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ 61percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college. We strongly recommend Clarkson University and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges.

For the free 218-page guide,  follow this link.