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Mercyhurst among top colleges in sustainability

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mercyhurst University is among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review, which today released a guide listing 375 schools meeting its criteria.

The Princeton Review chose the colleges based on "Green  Rating" scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied in summer 2017 for 629 colleges using data from its 2016-17 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school's sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. Mercyhurst scored 92 of 99.

“Mercyhurst has a strong history of commitment to sustainable initiatives,” said Mercyhurst Sustainability Officer Sarah Bennett. “The energy and ingenuity of the students, faculty and staff have driven these initiatives. As the new sustainability officer, I am excited to see what Mercyhurst’s efforts will look like moving forward.”

Bennett highlighted some of the university’s achievements that contributed to the recognition:

  • Purchasing carbon renewable energy certificates (RECs) for 90 percent of the electricity usage on the Erie campus and 1800 MT of carbon offsets to offset much of our transportation energy.

  • Creating a new sustainability officer position.

  • Establishing The Green Team as a formal committee on University Council.

  • Maintaining a Sustainability Studies major and student Sustainability Club.

Other ongoing initiatives, Bennett mentioned, include composting scraps from the Grotto Commons dining hall, switching to LED lighting in many locations across campus, purchasing a dishwasher for the dining hall that reduces energy and water use and maintaining geothermal heating systems in several buildings on campus.