ECU=environmentally conscious university

ECU is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for 2021.

ECU is one of 416 institutions that has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and is profiled in the new guide.

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a survey of administrators at 695 colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points in the process of choosing schools for the guide.

Creating a culture of sustainability on campus has been a focus for Chad Carwein, ECU’s sustainability manager. He has worked with hundreds of students, staff, faculty and community members over the past four years in developing ECU’s first sustainability plan, which outlines goals in the areas of climate change mitigation, academics and research, campus grounds and materials management.

While long-term efforts such as recycling and water and energy reduction have been successful, Carwein said the work to create a more sustainable campus continues.

“Two of the most commonly asked questions I get are ‘Why doesn’t ECU have solar power?’ and ‘Why don’t we compost in the dining halls?’” Carwein said. “Both are excellent questions in my opinion and perfect examples of the progress yet to be made.”

In addition to being named a Green College by Princeton Review in consecutive years, ECU has been designated a Bicycle Friendly University, Tree Campus USA and Bee Campus USA. ECU also has a silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, which is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

“All of these designations put the university on the map and are powerful recruiting tools for prospective students and their families,” Carwein said.