Radford University listed among the top ‘green campuses’ for the 12th consecutive year


Radford University’s commitment to sustainability practices is once again being recognized by The Princeton Review, a national organization known for its college rankings, ratings and guidebooks.

The Princeton Review included Radford University in its listing of 422 colleges and universities in its Guide to Green Colleges: 2022 Edition. The annual guide was published on the company’s website on Oct. 26, 2021.

Radford University has been included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges since 2010, making this year its 12th consecutive appearance on the list.

“We’re excited to again be recognized by The Princeton Review as a green campus,” said Radford University Sustainability Manager Josh Nease. “Twelve consecutive years of this accolade demonstrates the university’s longstanding commitment to sustainability. Once we complete the university’s new sustainability and climate action plan, it will serve as a pathway for continued sustainability progress and continued recognition from The Princeton Review for the foreseeable future.” 

The Princeton Review chose the 420 schools in the green college guide based on its survey of administrators at 835 colleges in 2020-21. The survey asked administrators about their institutions’ commitments to sustainability and the environment. The company's editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points to select Radford and the other schools included on the list.

"We strongly recommend Radford University to students who care about the environment and want to study and live at a green college," said The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief Rob Franek. “Radford offers excellent academics and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability that is exemplary on many counts.”

The green colleges guide provides information about each profiled institution’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid and student demographics. It also includes “green facts” about each school.

Colleges with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher were listed in the 2022 guide. Radford University scored 83 out of a possible 99. That score is based partly upon the university having a formal sustainability committee and Presidential Task Force on Sustainability, a sustainability officer, a school-developed bicycle plan and the availability of a free/reduced-price transit program.

Radford’s inclusion on The Princeton Review list for 12 straight years underscores its vigorous and spirited commitment to sustainability practices. In November 2020, the university signed the Carbon Commitment, a document that recognizes the need for colleges and universities to exercise leadership in addressing the increasing pace and detrimental impacts of climate change.

At the commitment’s core is the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2040 and to integrate sustainability and climate action into the Radford University curriculum and culture.

The President’s Task Force on Sustainability was established along with the signing of the Carbon Commitment. The task force charges the Radford family to work together toward developing a new sustainability and climate action plan. The task force comprises 13 appointed faculty, staff and students from Finance, Facilities, Admissions, Sustainability, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and University Services.

The job of Task Force members is to enhance cross-campus collaboration and develop partnerships and strategies for advancing sustainability and achieving net carbon neutrality.

Engaging students has been a considerable component of the university’s sustainability mission since it initially signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2009.

For example, students have taken leadership responsibilities in the Radford chapter of the Food Recovery Network, delivering meals to a food bank near campus to help fight food insecurity in the City of Radford and the surrounding region.

Students participating in the Food Recovery Network program typically are part of the Sustainability leadership team internship program, which gives them hands-on sustainability-related work experience throughout the academic year on various green campus initiatives, such as the annual Earth Week events and the popular Bags to Benches program, which recycles plastic bags into benches to place in green spaces on campus.

For its efforts, Radford received a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) silver rating in May 2019 from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Radford University lists sustainability as one of its core values. It is committed to integrating sustainable practices into every area of operation and engaging its students across the curriculum to learn, discover and contribute to positive environmental solutions.

Nov 22, 2021
Chad Osborne