Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

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 (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 286 Green Colleges, which notes that Pratt's "reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design."

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC, www.usgbc.org), the Guide to 286 Green Colleges is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities, and initiatives.

The guide - which is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide - profiles the nation's most environmentally responsible campuses. From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, the Guide to 286 Green Colleges 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.

Pratt joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges that are leading the green movement through their own special programs and initiatives. "Pratt Institute serves as a role model for art and design schools across the nation through its approach to the global challenge posed by climate change," said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. "We are committed to integrating sustainability into the campus and classroom so that our students understand their role as socially and environmentally responsible citizens, artists, and designers."

The free Guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.

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 administrative director in charge of campus facilities and one academic director in charge of educational, research, and enterprise initiatives.

In 2007, Pratt Thomas F. President 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.

"Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach, and support environmental responsibility," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review.

"Beyond the cost savings to an institution, even the simplest aspects of a green campus, such as increased use of natural light, have been found to improve student learning and quality of life," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "Green facilities make colleges more attractive to students and can dramatically reduce energy costs."