Princeton Review: Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam among most environmentally responsible colleges in U.S. and Canada
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 9:19 am

POTSDAM -- The two colleges in Potsdam have been selected as among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.

The company selected Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam for inclusion in the just-released fourth annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition.”

Clarkson has a number of environmental initiatives, including an innovative and integrated greenhouse to grow vegetables in cold climates, coupled with an anaerobic digester to convert food waste to energy; and two sustainability minors, sustainable energy systems engineering and sustainable solutions for the developing world.

Clarkson has also adopted green building policies, such as a commitment to meeting at least LEED Silver criteria on all current and future construction.

In 2012, the new Student Center building achieved LEED Silver certification.

Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment sponsors workshops, seminars, and a small grants program, as well as undergraduate and graduate-level research experiences on a variety of projects around renewable energy, clean water, and air quality.

“The last few years have shown a dramatic increase in the number and quality of sustainability events on campus,” says Associate Director of Sustainability Susan E. Powers. “The most compelling argument for our continued increase in score from the Princeton Review is the extent that groups from across campus are participating and organizing sustainability events and initiatives.

For its part, SUNY Potsdam has established a sustainability and operations coordinator position, installed a new co-generation plant, and is building the LEED-certified Performing Arts Building.

The college's dining service has taken several steps, including eliminating some plastic items, working to get more local crops in dining halls, and composting waste.

The school has installed 150 high-efficiency washers and dryers, and an assortment of other energy saving efforts.

The new Performing Arts Building, opening next year, has been designed to meet a minimum Silver Certification from LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.

Created by the Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the guide is a free guidebook profiling institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the schools for the guide based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges that the company polled in 2012 about their school’s sustainability initiatives.

According to the publishers, it does not include any rankings of schools or “top lists.” It is based on surveys garnered from college and university staff and not surveys filled out by students, therefore excluding firsthand student opinions from the guide. It focuses on one aspect of college life: living and learning at a school that prioritizes a green campus, a green curriculum and a green community.

The guide can be downloaded at

The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.