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09-26-2017

Sierra Club & Princeton Review Honor Clarkson University for Commitment to Sustainability

The Sierra Club has named Clarkson University one of the Cool Schools for 2017.

The student-run campus vegetable garden is one of the projects funded through Clarkson University's Sustainability Fund.Out of 227 schools nationwide that reported on sustainability programs, Clarkson ranks 15 for academics, 30 for energy and 68 overall. The ranking is open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.

Clarkson also has been named one of the most environmentally responsible "green" colleges in the United States and Canada, according to the Princeton Review. The company selected Clarkson for inclusion in the 2017 edition of "The Princeton Review Guide to 375 Green Colleges."

The accolades follow earlier recognition for campus sustainability, as Clarkson received a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (AASHE STARS) program for its socially responsible investment in sustainability education and research. The rating puts Clarkson in the top one-third of campuses across the globe that self-reported on sustainability programs to the organization.

Clarkson has a number of convention-defying environmental initiatives, including an anaerobic digester to convert food waste to energy and fertilizer, and installation of a two megawatt solar photovoltaic system on campus that helps New York meet its renewable energy goals.

“As part of our climate commitment, we are working toward climate neutrality by 2025,” says Susan Powers, director of Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment. “This commitment is helping drive our efforts to increase energy efficiency in all renovation projects and consider additional sources of local renewable energy.”

Engagement of the student body has been critically important in the recognition Clarkson as received for its sustainability initiatives. Students learn how to integrate sustainability concepts into their lives and professions through a variety of curricular and extra-curricular programs.

Sustainability concepts are covered in more than 250 courses that are offered by more than 70 percent of Clarkson's academic departments, and all students can direct their course choices to focus on sustainability by participating in the Adirondack Semester or completing a minor in sustainable energy systems engineering or sustainable solutions for the developing world.

Student co-curricular projects funded through the Sustainability Fund projects have included a new student-run campus vegetable garden, new solid waste receptacles and a plan to better manage solid waste on campus, and micro-financed tree nurseries in Uganda for carbon dioxide sequestration.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this seventh annual edition of its "green guide" based on data from the company's 2016-17 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools' commitments to the environment and sustainability.

"We strongly recommend the schools in this guide to environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said the Princeton Review's Robert Franek, seniorVP-publisher.

Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. "Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2017 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college."

The free guide can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide .

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: The student-run campus vegetable garden is one of the projects funded through Clarkson University's Sustainability Fund. Both the Sierra Club and The Princeton Review recognized Clarkson for the commitment to sustainability.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://internal.clarkson.edu/news/photos/sustainability-garden.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or kchezum@clarkson.edu.]

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