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Gonzaga Again Ranks Among Most Environmentally Responsible ‘Green’ Colleges

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SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University once again has been named among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review. The 2016 edition of its “Guide to 361 Green Colleges” is free and downloadable at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The publication chose the schools based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) tallied for 640 colleges using data from its 2015-16 survey of school administrators about schools’ sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. Schools with green rating scores of 80 (of a possible 99) or higher made it into this guide. Gonzaga earned a green rating score of 94. Most of the schools (350) in this edition are in the United States, 10 are in Canada and one is in Egypt.

“We strongly recommend Gonzaga and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president-publisher, who noted increasing interest among college-bound students in green colleges.

Gonzaga was included in the same ranking in 2013 and 2015.

The online profile includes information about Gonzaga’s many sustainability efforts. The publication notes Gonzaga “feels a keen responsibility to help protect our environment for future generations. And, in an effort to prove just how committed it is to this cause, the university approved its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2013. Moreover, as a signatory of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Gonzaga has pledged to work towards climate neutrality.”

Gonzaga aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 20 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035 (from 2009 levels). Ultimately, Gonzaga hopes to attain total climate neutrality by 2050. To reach that goal, Gonzaga aims for all new campus construction to meet LEED Silver certifications. Additionally, Gonzaga supports renewable energy by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates equivalent to 20 percent of its total energy usage. These certificates are purchased through Avista’s Buck-a-Block program. Also, Gonzaga has worked to ensure that green practices are implemented in landscaping and lawn care, installing 25 new computerized irrigation controllers that allow staff to remotely monitor and control water output campuswide based on weather.

Gonzaga also participates in Spokane’s “Clean Green” program – composting more than 35 tons of tree needles and leaves each year. Finally, with robust car sharing options, an electric vehicle charging station and free bike rentals, Gonzaga makes it easy for students and faculty on the go to adopt green practices.

In 2014, Gonzaga hired Jim Simon as its first director of sustainability to help coordinate campus sustainability efforts. For more information about Gonzaga’s sustainability efforts, please contact Jim Simon at (509) 313-5571 or simonj@gonzaga.edu.

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