UC Santa Cruz, long renowned for its sustainable energy practices, has earned two prestigious new laudations: a top spot on a national "Green Honor Roll," and special recognition for recent energy and water-saving retrofits on campus.

The campus has been named one of California’s two most sustainable colleges, according to a brand-new survey by the Princeton Review in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council.

According to the results of the survey, which were released this week, UCSC has a top spot on a "Green Honor Roll." This elite list consists of 16 schools, which were culled from 320 U.S. – and two Canadian – colleges and universities.

According to a web story posted on Southern California Public Radio’s blog, the rankings were based on campus green initiatives, "the degree to which sustainability is embedded in the course curriculum, and how well the school prepares students for green jobs upon graduation."

The story also notes that UCSC is "already ranked among the top ten green power purchasing schools in America. The Santa Cruz campus was noted for a 70 percent waste diversion rate, and for gleaning 20 percent of all energy from renewable sources."

San Francisco State University was the other California school to earn a spot on the honor roll.

In addition to this national honor, UCSC is getting some much-deserved green recognition for its Physical Plant Energy Department, which recently won two statewide Higher Education Best Practice Awards for a campus-wide lighting design and retrofit, and for its water management and improvement efficiency plan. 

These new distinctions can be added to a long list of recognitions for green-minded practices ranging from its food sourcing to its recycling and composing and "zero-impact" move-out days. The Sierra Club, North America’s oldest and most influential environmental organization, which consistently rates UCSC as one  "the nation’s most planet-minded universities."