Green college guide includes UT Martin
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 11:52 am
The Messenger 05.05.11
The University of Tennessee at Martin is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.
The education services company selected UT Martin for inclusion in the second annual edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition.” It is one of three public institutions in Tennessee included.
Created by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the guide profiles 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 based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges the company polled in 2010 about their school’s sustainability initiatives.
“We all should take pride to be included among those in the Princeton Re-view Green Guide. This acknowledgement reflects much hard work, planning and continuing attention to matters of sustainability,” UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes said. “As a campus, many concerned, dedicated faculty, staff and students joined together to make our inclusion among the nation’s green colleges a stellar national recognition of commitment to making our planet a better place to live.”
Sixty percent of UT Martin’s food expenditures are from local/organic sources. The Office of Dining Services is trayless, which has reduced waste by 60 percent, reduced utilities by 50 percent and reduced chemical use by 50 percent. The university established a recycling facility to collect campus and community recyclables, including paper, cardboard, cans and plastic bottles, and the UTM Recycles! organization places blue recycle bins in most campus buildings and high-traffic pedestrian areas. These efforts have helped the university achieve a 25 percent waste diversion rate.
Buildings on campus have been retrofitted with new, more energy-efficient lamps and ballasts, updated HVAC controls, occupancy lighting sensors and low-flow plumbing fixtures, among other sustainability measures. The university makes it easy for students and staff to be part of the green movement with the Adopt-A-Space program, which allows student groups and organizations to adopt a campus area and maintain its environmental integrity.
The campus has a 640-acre experiential farm that serves as a place where agriculture and natural resources students can complete agriculture and farming-related research and get hands-on experience.
“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing for The Princeton Review. “Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.”