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HWS Remains Among Greenest

Posted on Friday, May 02, 2014

Hobart and William Smith were again included among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The Colleges are included in the fifth annual edition of its book.

"We're honored to be included in the Guide to Green Colleges 2014 Edition," says Sustainability Manager Adam Maurer. "It is a testament to the work students, faculty and staff at HWS continue to do year after year to evolve sustainability on our campus - while it also marks a path for our sustainability commitment moving forward."

According to The Princeton Review, of the more than 10,000 college applicants who participated in the publication's 2014 "College Hopes and Worries Survey," 61 percent said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school. The Guide features facts and statistics on school demographics, admission and financial aid for each of the 332 schools, in addition to information about the sustainability initiatives of each.

"At Hobart and William Smith, vast natural resources are used to the fullest through a ‘living laboratory' approach," says The Princeton Review. "HWS students will undoubtedly be among the top of the pack in the green job market; the Department of Career Services maintains a full-time counselor with a focus on career development, internship and job opportunities in the environmental sector."

Among the examples of Hobart and William Smith's commitment to sustainability are the use of wind, solar and geothermal energy, as well as the implementation of measures to improve water and energy conservation. The Colleges employ energy efficiency technologies, including LED lighting and high-efficiency boilers. Additionally, they compost nearly 100 percent of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste from their dining facilities. The Princeton Review also pointed to the fact that HWS was the first small liberal arts college in the state to be powered entirely by wind.

"Students have environmental course options in myriad departments and research opportunities abound," the profile states.

Among the Colleges' campus-wide sustainability efforts are the successful implementation of the Eco-Rep Program, the "Caught Green Handed" campaign, participation for the past six years in national recycling competition RecycleMania, and such recent programs as the Green Room Certification and Green Office Certification. Additionally, more than 80 percent of HWS' cleaning materials are green certified.

Academically, the environmental studies program has grown from graduating fewer than 10 majors and minors 20 years ago to graduating more than 70 majors and minors each year over the past five years. The Sustainable Community Development Program, now in its third year, is quickly becoming a nexus for a number of important campus and regional sustainability initiatives. With a minor in the subject approved this spring, HWS undergraduates will be afforded the opportunity to develop and demonstrate a skill set in economic development, environmental stewardship, urban design, finance, and community health as part of their academic program. Students also benefit from real-world experience through valuable internships and in-class projects in which these new skills can be utilized to affect change.

Additionally, the Finger Lakes Institute at HWS focuses on sustainability and works with regional communities to help promote and educate on the topic.

"We are pleased to recommend Hobart and William Smith Colleges to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices," says Rob Franek, senior vice president and publisher at The Princeton Review.

Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, commented "In collaborating with The Princeton Review on this annual guide, we have seen that sustainability on campuses continues to be an important deciding factor for today's four-year college bound students. We are excited to once again provide prospective students and their parents with a resource to help them navigate this often daunting decision-making process."

If you'd like more information about The Colleges' sustainability initiatives, please feel free to contact Maurer at sustainability@hws.edu or 315-781-4380.

 


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