AU recognized for green efforts

Correction appended

AU recently acquired two prestigious sustainability awards: a spot on the Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Honor Roll and a level two accreditation for the campus’ arboretum from the Morton Registrar of Arboreta.

The Princeton Review recognized AU in their 2013 Green Honor Roll for receiving a perfect Green Rating of 99.

The Princeton Review tallies the Green Ratings of 806 colleges for their annual publication of “The Best 377 Colleges,” according to its website.

A Green Rating ranges between 60 and 99 and is based on how:

• sustainable the lives of students are,

• well the school utilizes green energy and

• responsible the school’s environmental policies are.

AU hopes to certify 25 existing buildings on campus within Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Volume standards, as meeting LEED standards for all new construction and using renewable energy sources, sustainability coordinator Emily Curley said.

Only 21 of 806 schools received a perfect score, according to the Princeton Review’s website.

This is the second consecutive year AU has made the Green Honor Roll and AU is the only D.C. college on the list.

“Students and prospective students continue to rate sustainability as one of the important factors they consider in choosing a school,” Director of Sustainability Chris O’Brien said. “I expect that trend to continue, as will our ongoing commitment to sustainability, which I believe makes AU an attractive destination for learning.”

A university and an arboretum

AU’s arboretum received a level two accreditation through the Morton Registrar of Arboreta, AU Zero Waste Coordinator Helen Lee said.

A level two arboretum requires:

• at least 100 different types of trees or woody plants,

• a collection policy,

• educational and public programing and

• employees whose responsibilities include the management and operation of the arboretum, according to ArbNet’s website.

AU is nationally recognized as a professional public garden of tress, shrubs and woody plants for scientific, public and conservational purposes, Curley said.

“AU’s arboretum accreditation is a great part of our sustainability efforts, showcasing campus as a living educational tool in itself, where students, staff, faculty and visitors can all learn about trees, or just enjoy the landscape, as they walk across campus,” O’Brien said.

Correction: This article previously stated that AU had 25 LEED-certified buildings. In reality, AU is pursuing certification.

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle

Would you like to support our work? Donate here to The Eagle Innovation Fund.