The Green Campus Initiative

Environmental Sustainability Initiatives at Private Colleges and Universities


The examples listed below highlight the growing number of green initiatives taking place at the nation's private colleges and universities. Each college listed has a website devoted to promoting environmental sustainability, including ways individuals can help to do their part. Connecticut College has worked with farmers in Costa Rica to plant enough fast growing trees to compensate for the 593 tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually by the campus's college center over the next 30 years. In 1999, solar panels were fitted to a residence hall to offset the power required by a boiler plant that was installed that same year. Savings from the combined reduction is approximately what one residence hall would use in an academic year. A light bulb exchange program allows students to exchange inefficient light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs. The old bulbs are then decorated and sold as art to fund the program.

Albion College (Albion, MI)

Albion College focuses its collective attention on sustainability as part of an interdisciplinary education that is designed for those who will be engaged in solving today’s and tomorrow’s social, environmental and economic challenges.


American University (Washington, DC)

AU has made its entire new student orientation process as green as possible. The college has reduced paper output, where possible, and otherwise usies 100 percent recycled paper in all cases. AU has reduced energy output from computers and classrooms, and launched a new program to help offices become eco-certified.