The Princeton Review has named University of Richmond a “green” college for 2016. The college guidebook publisher annually recognizes colleges for environmental initiatives in construction, transportation, energy conservation and recycling.

Schools are selected based on data from a 2015-16 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning commitments to the environment and sustainability.

In 2015, President Ronald A. Crutcher signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, in which the university pledged to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The university’s Climate Action Plan also sets a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020.

In spring 2016, the university completed installation of a 204-kilowatt solar array on the roof of the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness. This project is the first solar installation in Virginia made under the 2013 Power Purchase Agreement and has the potential to offset 364,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

UR offers a variety of transportation alternatives. Richmond operates bus service to popular destinations, provides free GRTC bus passes to students and employees, offers a bike share program, and participates in Zipcar, an on-demand, car-sharing service located on campus.

The university uses single-stream recycling on campus, making recycling an easy task since items do not need to be separated. The university also sponsors e-waste collections to further reduce waste on campus. Students also participate in the RecycleMania, an annual recycling competition among Virginia colleges.

Several classes in the field also are offered. “Faculty in all five of UR’s schools are engaged in sustainability research and more than half of our departments offer sustainability courses,” said Rob Andrejewski, TITLE. “Students also are seeking out opportunities to get involved in sustainability in a way we haven’t seen previously.”

The guide is published in partnership with USGBC’s Center for Green Schools and is publicly available online.

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