CARBONDALE — SIU’s commitment to sustainability and green initiatives has drawn national recognition.

“The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition” features SIU. The book, the fourth annual publication from The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate “a strong commitment to the environment and to sustainability,” according to the email SIU received about the honor.

“We appreciate this recognition of the emphasis we place on sustainability,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “We have a responsibility to leave our campus — and our world — in better shape for those who follow us, and I appreciate the ongoing efforts of our students, faculty and staff.”

This is SIU’s second appearance in the green colleges guide. Selections are based on surveys of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and Canada using a scoring system utilizing answers to 50 questions about each institution’s sustainability polices, practices and programs. A school had to earn a ranking of 83 or above for inclusion in the guide. The school scores and rankings are not reported.

The University’s profile in the green guide touts SIU as “professional when it comes to going green.”

The report highlights a variety of initiatives on campus including the vermicomposting facility heated by a clean-burning oil furnace that uses campus vehicle motor oil and is insulated with soy-based foam product. The report also notes that SIU offers free bicycle rentals for students, and composts food waste from campus dining halls for use in soil for fertility research on fruit and vegetable crops in campus gardens.

Another big plus for SIU, according to the report, is the student-initiated Green Fee, with $10 per semester from each student helping to fund sustainability projects, many of which heavily involve students. Since the fee was enacted in the fall 2009 semester, it has generated $1.2 million in sustainability support for dozens of projects.

The profile notes that Salukis can take sustainability-related courses and/or earn degrees in more than 20 academic areas, too. It also recognizes the new Transportation Education Center as certified under the USGBC’s LEED NC 2.2 rating system.

SIU also recently earned additional sustainability recognition in the Recyclemania competition as it came out on top among participating Missouri Valley Conference schools.


Christi Mathis writes for University Communications.

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