Media Contact
October 08, 2009

The New York Times highlights Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) successful “green” initiatives, in the publication’s Oct. 7, 2009 entry of “The Choice,” a blog about college admissions and financial aid that is geared toward prospective students and their families.

The blog entry, entitled “Despite Hard Times, Colleges Are Still Going Green,” was written by Jack Kadden who notes that “times may be tough, but colleges are not abandoning their efforts to be green.” The blog cites the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card, released Oct. 7, 2009 by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI), which included WPI as one of the nation’s colleges and universities that has shown the biggest improvement in its efforts to go “green.” Among the “A’s” the SEI gave WPI were in the categories of “Climate Change and Energy,” for the installation of a new campus energy management system; “Food and Recycling,” for buying more food locally, eliminating trays in dining halls, and the overall campus recycling program; and in “Investment Priorities,” for optimizing investment return and investing in renewable energy funds. WPI’s overall grade jumped from a C- last year to this year’s B+.

The recognition highlights the many environmental initiatives at WPI. One especially impressive example of WPI’s commitment to environmental responsibility is the establishment of the President’s Task Force on Sustainability, which serves to promote a "sustainability sensibility" in WPI’s academic, research, and administrative endeavors.

“It is gratifying to see WPI’s many accomplishments in sustainability – both for our campus and in our education and research activities – recognized,” said WPI Provost and Senior Vice President John Orr, who chairs the Task Force. “These simplified ratings and rankings can never tell the whole story, but given our very real accomplishments in this area, it is obviously desirable that they receive this positive public visibility. I would like to thank everyone on the President’s Task Force on Sustainability, and all of our students, faculty, and staff for their efforts to make WPI a sustainable community.” 

In addition to scoring high on this report card, WPI also ranked among the top schools on the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) Pilot Survey, released in July 2009. This report considers the university’s academic, philosophical, and capital investments in becoming a “green” campus. WPI’s overall score of 58.0 was significantly higher than the 40.3 average overall score of the 37 participating universities in the “Large Doctorate-granting Universities” category, which included schools from across the nation. 

See Also:  WPI Sustainability