For the fourth consecutive year, the Princeton Review has recognized URI in its “Guide to Green Colleges,” a one-of-a-kind resource publicizing colleges with a strong environmental commitment. URI received the highest Green Rating of all Rhode Island institutions of higher education.
URI earned a “Green Rating”of 92 out of 99, based on a survey of environmental and sustainability-related policies, infrastructure, academic offerings, activities, and career preparation.
In 2007, URI signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and established a Council on Sustainability to guide the “greening of the University.” Since then, we have undertaken a systematic plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and become a carbon-neutral institution in the near future. Ninety-five percent of our buildings have undergone energy-related retrofits or renovations; 22 percent of our food budget is spent on local, organic food; and 70 percent of our grounds are maintained organically. We have numerous LEED-certified buildings, including the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, the new College of Pharmacy building, Hope Commons dining hall, and the just-opened Hillside Hall, which features rooftop solar collectors, a vegetated roof, building materials with high recycled content, indoor bicycle storage, and real-time energy monitoring. Ongoing research projects, a minor in sustainability, a new green business double major and many more initiatives combine to inspire members of the University community to think and live sustainably.