STONY BROOK, N.Y., July 25, 2011 – Stony Brook University’s commitment to sustainability has earned it a place in The Princeton Review’s 2011 Guide to 311 Green Colleges.
“The State University of New York – Stony Brook University has a long history of green awareness: The Environmental Defense Fund, which advocates using science, economics, and law to tackle environmental problems, was co-founded by a Stony Brook professor in 1967,” according to the Guide’s listing. “Since then, Stony Brook University has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, created an environmental stewardship department, and established a five year plan. Today, the university’s comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program includes bachelor’s degrees in everything from Marine Science to Environmental Humanities.”
|The Hybrid Bus parked in front of the Advanced Energy Center at Stony Brook's Research and Development Park. |
The guide notes that all new buildings at Stony Brook are being designed with green attributes, and “The Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center will be one of only 25 buildings with a LEED Platinum rating in the country, and the first LEED Platinum rated building in New York State.”
According to Barbara Chernow, Vice President for Facilities and Services, who, with help from Amy Provenzano, Executive Director of Environmental Stewardship, oversees campus sustainability initiatives, Stony Brook University has been engaged in sustainable operational practices for more than 20 years, with a increased focus taking shape in 2005.
"We formed the department of Environmental Stewardship in 2005 to firmly solidify our commitment to sustainability campus-wide,” said Chernow. “In 2007, the Environmental Stewardship department formed a Sustainability Task Force, which meets monthly throughout the academic year and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and the Faculty-Student Association. These groups, under Amy’s leadership, are at the heart of our program success, and with this commitment, Stony Brook has established itself as a leader in social, economic, and technological efforts to advance sustainability, reduce energy use and minimize environmental impact.”
|The Solar Buddy Trash Compactors outside of the Student Activities Center.|
Chernow adds that the University’s sustainability program initiatives are highlighted on a web-based, interactive "Green Map."
The Princeton Review’s “Guide” profiles 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation. The 220-page guide is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges.
To develop the 2011 Guide, The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council an outstanding national nonprofit organization best-known for developing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. This past fall, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed, and operated.
According to Rob Franek, Senior Vice President and Publisher of The Princeton Review, colleges on the list showed “an exceptional commitment to sustainability in terms of innovative curriculum, campus culture, infrastructure and preparing today’s students for the green careers of tomorrow.” The Guide celebrates colleges that are “taking a system-wide approach to sustainability, from cutting-edge classroom facilities to healthier residence halls to curriculum innovations,” he said.
According to Rachel Gutter, director of the United States Green Building Council, the Guide “gives parents and student some insight into schools that are leading the sustainability movement by improving buildings, grounds, transportation and course offerings, from water efficiency to CO2 emissions reductions to new majors in ecological engineering and environmental policy.”
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 25,000 students and 2,200 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 63 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation, and Stony Brook ranked 78th in the “Times Higher Education World University Rankings." One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.