Pratt Named One of the Nation’s Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges
Pratt Institute is one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review (http://www.PrincetonReview.com).The nationally known education services company selected the Institute for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants, titled The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges, which notes that Pratt's "reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design, and its urban campus provides a unique challenge for putting green design into practice."
Pratt was recognized by the publication for the sustainability focused education it provides its students and for its commitment to the greening of its campus buildings and grounds.
In January 2011, Pratt Institute opened a new six-story, 120,000-square-foot green academic and administrative facility named Myrtle Hall at 536 Myrtle Avenue between Grand Avenue and Steuben Street to house the college's Department of Digital Arts as well as several administrative offices. The building serves as a physical manifestation of Pratt's commitment to sustainable design education.
In fall 2009, Pratt submitted an official climate change action plan to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which documents Pratt's commitment to reducing its campus greenhouse gas emissions and outlines a series of academic initiatives designed to educate faculty, students, and the local community on issues related to sustainability. To achieve the goals of the plan, Pratt created a unique model among colleges of art and design nationwide by filling two full-time positions: one for an administrative director in charge of campus facilities and another for an academic director in charge of educational, research, and enterprise initiatives.
In 2007, Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte became one of the first signatories of the ACUPCC and that same year accepted Mayor Bloomberg's 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017, which is the central goal of the Institute's climate action plan. Other major plans outlined in the document include the recent creation of a Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research; the development of an all-Institute sustainability minor at Pratt, utilizing the Pratt campus as a model for sustainable living, and working with local community groups to promote energy conservation and other sustainable living practices.
The Guide to 311 Green Colleges--which is based on a survey of 2,000 colleges nationwide--profiles the nation's most environmentally responsible campuses including the college's academic offerings and extracurricular options. The introduction to the publication states: "a holistic approach to sustainable living on campus binds these schools together, covering everything from procurement and building guidelines to green academic programs and preparation for sustainable careers, and a willingness to be accountable for their green commitments."
From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, the Guide looks at an institution's commitment to building certification using USGBC's LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.
Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC, http://www.usgbc.org), the Guide to 311 Green Colleges is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely upon institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities, and initiatives. The Guide was created as a response to "a rising interest among students in attending colleges that practice, teach, and support environmentally responsible choices."
The free Guide can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.
From left to right: A typical residence hall room in Willoughby Hall on Pratt's Brooklyn campus next to the Institute's green residence hall room, which was created by undergraduate and graduate industrial and interior design students along with staff from Pratt's Office of Facilities Management and Residential Life; solar voltaic panels installed on the roof of Pratt's new green building, Myrtle Hall. Photos: Diana Pau; Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA.
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