UC Santa Cruz highlighted in Green College Honor Roll

The Green Colleges Honor Roll aims to provide a comprehensive measure of a school’s performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

UC Santa Cruz is one of two UC campuses scoring 99 points—the most possible—in The Princeton Review’s Green College Honor Roll, a list included in The Best 381 Colleges and The Complete Book of Colleges.

The listing cites UC Santa Cruz for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, ‘greening’ design and construction projects on campus, and integrating sustainability at every level.

The campus Sustainability Office has a database of project ideas submitted by students, faculty, and staff to improve sustainable practices. Students can also apply for grants to pursue initiatives that reduce carbon emissions on campus.

This rating, on a scale of 60–99, provides a comprehensive measure of a school’s performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution. Specifically, it includes:

  • whether students have a campus quality of life that is both healthy and sustainable,
  • how well a school is preparing students for employment in the clean-energy economy of the 21st century as well as for citizenship in a world now defined by environmental concerns and opportunities and,
  • how environmentally responsible a school’s policies are.

The Princeton Review wrote that it assembled a panel of experts in higher education green practices to produce a survey for school administrators. The panel then selected key questions and weighted them for the rating. Nearly all 4-year colleges and universities were invited to participate early in the year.

The honor roll does not rank the colleges but calls out the 21 with the highest possible scores.

UC Santa Cruz ranks No. 32 in Princeton’s Top 50 Green Colleges listing. It is one of four UCs on the list.

UC’s Policy on Sustainable Practices guides campuses in nine areas: green building, clean energy, sustainable transportation, climate protection, sustainable operations, waste reduction and recycling, environmentally preferable purchasing, sustainable foodservice, and sustainable water systems.

UC President Janet Napolitano has called for UC to achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2025.