The Princeton Review has named the University of Richmond a “green” college for 2014. The college guidebook publisher annually recognizes colleges for environmental initiatives in construction, energy conservation and recycling.

In recent years, all of the university's new construction has been LEED certified, and major renovations have focused on sustainable design strategies. The university also has a silver STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council with an active student chapter.

To encourage students to conserve energy, monitoring systems in 14 residence halls allow residents to view their electricity usage in real time. The university diverted 1.4 million pounds of waste from landfills through reuse and recycling efforts and annually participates in the national RecycleMania and Campus Conservation Nationals competitions.  

To reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel, Richmond operates bus service to popular destinations around Richmond, provides free GRTC bus passes to students and employees and participates in Zipcar, an on-demand, car-sharing program located on campus.

President Edward L. Ayers signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, committing to measuring the university’s carbon footprint, developing a collaborative plan to reach climate neutrality and integrating sustainability into the learning experience. The Climate Action Plan sets 2050 as the target date for neutrality, with an interim target of a 30 percent reduction by 2020.

Of more than 800 colleges examined, The Princeton Review selected 332 “green” colleges based on a survey completed by college administrators.

The guide is published in partnership with USGBC’s Center for Green Schools. It is free and downloadable online at

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