Sonoma State University was recognized as having one of the most impressive environmental and sustainability programs among colleges and universities across the country in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges," released recently. The Princeton Review, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council featured SSU in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.
The Review praised SSU's use of green technology, such as the lighting in the recreation center designed to maximize energy efficiency, use of reclaimed water in toilets and urinals and the installation of low-flow faucets in the bathrooms. Salazar Hall was recognized as having one of the largest solar panel grids around, with 1,200 panels and was applauded for its mechanized air conditioning system.
Also acknowledged by the Review were the many classes like Environmental Communication offered by the Environmental Studies Department and the Communications Department and the Psychology Department's course in Eco-psychology.
Campus recycling efforts were cited for their 58 percent reduction in the amount of solid waste sent to landfills by the campus between 2001 and 2007 and additional sustainability initiatives, like those taken by departments choosing to purchase only 100-percent recycled paper.
SSU, along with the 285 other colleges included in the Guide, was chosen based on its very high "Green Rating" score received in the summer of 2009. That year, SSU earned a score of 98 out of 99 and was topped by only 11 other U.S. campuses that included Harvard University, Arizona State University and the University of Oregon. Of the 697 schools included in the survey, SSU was among the 286 campuses receiving scores higher than the eightieth percentile.
In the 2009 survey, SSU also outperformed ten other California colleges that scored in the 90s - UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Santa Clara University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Stanislaus, Claremont McKenna and Stanford University.
This year, the campuses deemed the "greenest" according to their "green rating" scores were selected by the Princeteon Review to create the first free, comprehensive guidebook focused solely on colleges and universities that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability activities and initiatives.
The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide.