Lawrence University has landed on The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges’ 2022 edition.
Lawrence is one of 420 colleges across the country recognized for being among the most environmentally responsible schools.
Grace Subat, Lawrence’s sustainability and special projects fellow in the President’s Office, said the listing reflects ongoing sustainability progress at Lawrence but there is much more work to do.
“Staff, faculty, and students at Lawrence have worked hard to improve environmental sustainability on campus over the years,” she said. “I am proud of our progress, but we still have further to go. Through productive and positive collaborations, I am hopeful that Lawrence University will be able to take great strides toward a more environmentally sustainable campus this year.”
Lawrence’s Presidential Committee on Sustainability oversees efforts to instill a culture of sustainable long-range planning, working with student organizations and other departments across campus to develop and implement programs and practices that enhance good environmental stewardship.
Subat pointed to a number of initiatives that have seen progress in recent years.
- Reducing use of pesticides and prioritizing native species by the grounds management team: A landscape framework for campus was developed several years ago that prioritizes the use of native and ecologically appropriate plants and reduces the amounts of pesticides used, Subat said. The work is ongoing.
- Bon Appetit increasing percentage of food sourced locally: Bon Appetit works to source at least 20% of food offered in Andrews Commons locally. Lawrence has pushed that even further. It has set a goal to source at least 30% of food locally by 2025, Subat said. The percentage has already risen to 26%.
- Net Zero Bjorklunden: This is an ongoing project that aims to have Björklunden become a net-zero carbon emissions educational facility, balancing any carbon emissions with equivalent carbon savings on site.
- Study and protection of pollinators: Israel Del Toro, assistant professor of biology, continues his work to bring bees back to campus. University funding was spent to bring bee hives back to campus and create an educational space for students and others to learn about how bees benefit the Earth, Subat said. Del Toro also recently received a two-year, $199,957 EAGER grant from the National Science Foundation to enhance his research on bee conservation.
- JCI project will reduce energy usage on campus by 20%: This is an ongoing partnership with JCI, launched in 2020, that involves the upgrade of lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment across campus, in the process lowering the school’s utility consumption and reducing its carbon footprint.
The Princeton Review has put out the Green Colleges guide each of the past 11 years. Lawrence has frequently been on the list. The company’s editors said they analyze more than 25 data points to select the schools included in the guide.
The education services company’s guide, released in late October, is accessible for free at https://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/green-guide.