WCU named one of top ‘green’ colleges in US

For the second year in a row, Western Carolina University is included among The Princeton Review’s list of the most environmentally responsible colleges in North America.

The education services company selected WCU for inclusion in the third annual edition of its “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.”

“Inclusion of Western Carolina University in this guide confirms that we are making great strides in becoming a more environmentally friendly campus,” said Lauren Bishop, campus energy manager.

WCU’s profile in the new guide discusses the success of the campuswide energy conservation program called “Reducing Our Carbon Paw Print” that resulted in a 10-to 15-percent reduction in energy usage on campus through behavior modification alone, including a 34-percent reduction in BTU per square foot compared to 2002-03 levels.

The guide also notes a 15-percent reduction in petroleum usage in five years at WCU through the introduction of six neighborhood electric vehicles and by switching to E10, a blend of ethanol and unleaded gas, to power the campus fleet.

The book cites the fact that all new construction larger than 20,000 square feet is required to meet the United States Green Building Council standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.

The Princeton Review chose the institutions based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges that the company polled in 2011 about their school’s sustainability initiatives.

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