UNC Asheville Celebrates Another Year on Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges”

November 8, 2021

UNC Asheville is again a featured university in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges,” with a “Green Rating” of 93 out of 99. The guide recognized the presence of the University’s Sustainability Council; sustainability-focused academics; organic and local food featured in campus dining; and alternative transportation options. The Princeton Review chose the 420 schools in the guide based on its survey of administrators at 835 colleges in 2020-21 about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

UNC Asheville’s commitment to sustainability is imbued in every part of campus life, including the classroom. Students can earn an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Sustainability by completing sustainability-focused courses from across the curriculum, such as Land Economics, Environment Design and Solar Energy, Appalachian Literature, and Food Politics and Nutrition Policy, to name a few. UNC Asheville’s competitive McCullough Fellowship funds applied research projects in land use and conservation; urban planning; sustainable agriculture; resilience and environmental sustainability.

In the spring of 2020 UNC Asheville signed the Carbon Commitment, a pledge to becoming carbon neutral in just under 30 years. This includes creating a Climate Action Plan (CAP), completing an annual greenhouse emissions inventory and identifying near-term opportunities for greenhouse gas reduction, making carbon neutrality part of the curriculum, and completing an annual evaluation of progress towards the goal. Steps towards achieving carbon neutrality include the upcoming installation of additional electric vehicle charging stations on campus, and a partnership with Buncombe County to install solar panels on UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center.

Other recent green accolades for the University include the 2020 Carolina Recycling Association Annual Recycling Award, a first-place finish in the 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste for the food organics category for a medium-sized campus, and the designation as a Tree Campus USA for the third year in a row. Additionally, UNC Asheville has been certified as a Bee Campus USA since 2016, a designation that recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators. UNC Asheville was the eighth school in the nation to receive the Bee Campus USA designation, and the first in North Carolina.

Other sustainability-focused programs at UNC Asheville include campus gardens, the Seed Library, stormwater management, the Student Environmental Center, Greenfest, and the fossil fuel divestment campaign. For more information on these and many other sustainability initiatives at UNC Asheville, read the University’s Sustainability Annual Report and visit sustainability.unca.edu.

Read  The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2022 Edition here.