VILLANOVA, PA., APRIL 26, 2010 – Villanova University has been named one of the country’s most environmentally-responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review. The education services and guidebook publishing company selected Villanova University for inclusion in a resource it has created for college applicants – “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”
Just in time for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22), the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” profiles the nation’s most environmentally-responsible campuses. The Guide was developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.
The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” looks at an institution’s overall commitment to sustainability. Universities are judged according to criteria including LEED building certification; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs; and curricular emphasis on sustainability.
Villanova joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the “green” movement through their own special programs and initiatives.
“As an academic community, we understand the danger of ignoring the needs of our planet, and we recognize that all life forms on earth inherently deserve our respect,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University President. “All human beings depend upon the stability of our environment, and we are therefore dedicated to addressing the climate crisis in every way we can.”
As a testament to its commitment to sustainability, Villanova recently launched a master’s degree program in Sustainable Engineering to complement its robust offerings in environmental education, including undergraduate majors in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies and a first-year Environmental Leadership Learning Community.
In addition to its green-minded academic programs, the University also operates the Villanova Stormwater Wetland Project, the Villanova Recycling Program, and has signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Villanova recently submitted its formal Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, setting forth the year 2050 as the University’s target date to achieve net climate neutrality.
This past fall, Driscoll Hall – home to the College of Nursing – received LEED-Gold Certification, becoming the first LEED-certified building on campus. Villanova now pursues LEED Certification on all new construction and major renovations, including the University’s new School of Law building, which opened its doors in August 2009. Additionally, an 80-year-old dormitory got a “green” makeover last summer, creating the University’s first completely eco-friendly dormitory.
Villanova Dining Services is also very involved when it comes to environmental responsibility. In partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the University has instituted the Seafood Watch program, which requires members to only purchase and serve seafood that is “abundant, and caught or farmed in environmentally-friendly ways.” Every resident dining hall on campus is trayless and has complete vegetarian options available. And if that weren’t enough, Villanova Dining Services purchase 32 percent of its food from local and/or organic sources.
Villanova University (www.villanova.edu), a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.