UNC Asheville is one of the Top 50 Green Colleges in the United States, according to the Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges: 2023 Edition.” Schools in the Top 50 list were recognized for superb sustainability practices, a strong foundation in sustainability education, and a healthy quality of life for students on campus.
“UNC Asheville is frequently featured in the ‘Guide to Green Colleges,’ but this is our first time ranking in the top 50,” said Alison Ormsby, director of sustainability. “Given the many sustainability efforts and continued improvements across campus, it’s gratifying to see the University continue to climb the ranks of green colleges across the country.”
The ranking used surveys of 713 administrators during the 2021-2022 academic year to determine the placements. More than 25 data points were examined by the Princeton Review for this list.
“Over the years, we have also seen a significant growth in the number of colleges pivoting to sustainability-related policies and programs,” said Rob Franek, Editor in Chief of The Princeton Review. “We are proud to shine a light on these schools and to continue serving as a unique resource for students who want their ‘best-fit’ college to also ideally be a green one. We highly recommend each and every one of the colleges in our guide.”
UNC Asheville scores a “green rating” of 92 out of 99, which highlights the University’s employment of a sustainability council, bikeshare programs, and free campus shuttles and other transportation options. The campus community also puts 13 percent of the food budget toward buying local/organic products, with an emphasis on fair trade goods and companies. In 2017, UNC Asheville also became the first designated Fair Trade Campus in North Carolina.
Other sustainability awards for UNC Asheville include certifications for sustainable buildings in The Woods Apartments, Rhoades Hall, and just this fall, Owen Hall. The LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—certification considers sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Along with green buildings, the university is committed to fostering students’ excitement and passion for sustainability through the McCullough Fellowship, which funds students to research an applied sustainability topic in our community.
UNC Asheville ranks highly on other Princeton Review lists as well, including: #6 on “Green Matters: Everybody Cares About Conservation,” #9 on “LGBTQ+ Friendly,” #15 on “College City Get High Marks,” and #17 on “Town-Gown Relations are Great.”
For more information on sustainability at UNC Asheville, visit https://www.unca.edu/life/sustainability/.