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Such a commitment is abundantly apparent at Arizona State University, which made this year’s Princeton Review list of 21 colleges and universities with the highest “green” ratings in the country. The rankings are based on:
• whether students have a campus quality of life that is both healthy and sustainable
• how well a school is preparing students not only for employment in the clean energy economy of the 21st century, but also for citizenship in a world now defined by environmental challenges
• how environmentally responsible a school's policies are
When ASU established its one-of-a-kind Global Institute of Sustainability in November 2004, ASU President Michael Crow noted that the field was “so new, it [had] yet to be defined,” proving the university to be a true pioneer in the field.
Crow has even delivered speeches at several conferences nationwide addressing the importance of sustainability in the university. One such lecture was given at fellow Pac-12 school Oregon State University during their 2011 OSU Sustainability Conference.
OSU is making its own name in sustainability with its Energy Efficiency Center. Student teams led by faculty and grad students are working through the center to help businesses in the Northwest become more efficient and profitable by reducing their energy usage and eliminating waste. So far, the students have helped save those businesses nearly $90 million in operating expenses.
Meanwhile, ASU is pumping out more than 15.3 megawatts of solar-generating capacity, working with Power Systems Energy Research Center to develop a new type of electric grid, partnering with the City of Phoenix to promote transit-oriented development along the light rail, and continuing to research even more ways of creating a more sustainable world.