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Drexel & Philadelphia Local Colleges Named Top Eco-Friendly Schools

School’s out for summer… which means a new batch of students are coming in the fall!  Besides factors such as location, campus size and party school ranking, students often take a university’s  sustainability into account for deciding on a college.  The Princeton Review & Green Building Council published a “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” to help students find the top green schools – It’s the 1st college guidebook to list schools with the most environmentally-responsible campuses and school-wide commitment to sustainability.

The Princeton Review’s “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 more.  27 schools in PA were named! Philadelphia should be proud of local universities such as Drexel University making honors on the list.  (And my alma mater Penn State also earned a spot…)  Although I applaud Princeton Review’s Efforts, it doesn’t easily rank the top green schools – Instead, there’s shaded offsets for ‘honor rolls’ (ex: Arizona State University: Head of the “Green” Class).

Drexel’s making huge strides with green buildings: It’s the 1st university in America to require an independent environmental impact monitoring software & eco-friendly designs for all new construction projects.  For example, a new residence hall features a “vegetated” roof to reduce heat absorption, manage storm water & insulation. Even the smallest of current projects such as a new Dining Terrace include shade devices to eliminate heat and reduce energy consumption.

A few more Drexel stats from the guidebook:

  • 30% of food expenditures go toward local or organic food
  • School boasts an overall waste diversion rate of 40 percent
  • In 2002, Drexel was one of the first universities to purchase wind power, equivalent to planting about 17,700 acres of trees, or not driving over 45 million miles
  • 1st building in Philadelphia to have total storm water management (collecting & using rainwater in the building’s toilets)
  • Constantine Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, under construction, will feature a living biofilter, aka “Bio Wall”, for energy efficiency and improved air quality
  • Student-led initiative Drexel Green empowers students to bring new green technologies and initiatives to campus.

Posted by Julie

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

1 thought on “Drexel & Philadelphia Local Colleges Named Top Eco-Friendly Schools

  1. I toured Milennium Hall at Drexel shortly after it opened, and it is incredible! The students are really on-board with the University’s green efforts.
    I’m also glad to see PSU made the list! 🙂

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