Chatham University Named To Princeton Review Green Honor Roll

Chatham University was recently honored by The Princeton Review by being named to the exclusive 2013 Green Honor Roll, the only Pennsylvania college or university named.

The Princeton Review’s fifth annual “Green Rating” of colleges measures how environmentally friendly the institutions are on a scale of 60 to 99. Of 806 institutions rated concerning their environmentally related practices, policies and academic offerings, 21 – including Chatham University – received the highest possible score of 99. The full list appears on The Princeton Review’s website

“We commend the administrators, the faculty and students at the schools on our ‘Green Rating’ Honor Roll for their exemplary commitments to the environment in their practices, policies and program offerings,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher.

Earlier this year, Chatham was named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United State and Canada, according to the Guide to 322 Green Colleges, a collaboration between The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Chatham has purchased renewable power since 2002, and now purchases 100 percent of its total electricity usage from a Green-E Certified mix of renewable energy that is primarily wind power. 

Two grants were recently awarded to Chatham, allowing the installation of solar thermal water heating that is designed to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, reduce the University’s carbon footprint, and insinuate against fluctuating energy costs. 

The largest installation of its kind in Pennsylvania and the eighth largest solar water heating installation in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Utility Solar Water Heating Initiative project database, the project incorporates advanced microchannel technology from Solar Tomorrow, Inc.

In 2011, Chatham became the first institution in the Pittsburgh region to ban the sale of bottled water.  Chatham also instituted a new campus-wide printing program that reduced printed pages by 400,000 copies from the previous academic year. This reduction is roughly equal to saving four trees, in addition to conserving energy and reducing costs.

With this change, Chatham reduced its carbon footprint by 14,400 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is more carbon dioxide than is produced by three round-trip flights from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, Calif.

A successful school–wide single–stream recycling program is complimented by a robust composting program. Reflecting Chatham’s commitment to community involvement in its food, food service provider Parkhurst Dining Services purchases 20 percent of its food from local sources through its FarmSource program and coordinates a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program for the campus.

The dining hall provides vegan and vegetarian selections at all meals to accommodate the large population that prefers this low–carbon diet, as well as to reduce the campus footprint. In addition, eliminating the use of trays in 2009 has resulted in at least a 25 percent reduction of energy and encourages less food waste, and the switch to reusable take-out containers in 2011 has led to additional dramatic waste reduction.

In addition to maintaining a fleet of biodiesel shuttle busses to that transport students between its Shadyside and Eastside Campuses and to nearby local universities, Chatham is one of the first Pennsylvania employers to offer a $20 a month tax credit to workers who bike for a “substantial portion” of their commute.

Chatham also recently became the first university in Pennsylvania to be recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bike Friendly University, receiving the bronze-level designation. Chatham was previously awarded a Bicycle Friendly Business designation by the league.


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