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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is among the nation’s most environmentally responsible institutions, according to The Princeton Review, one of the nation’s top education service and evaluation companies.

UT Knoxville is one of only five universities in Tennessee to be included in the company’s newest guidebook, “Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” and is mentioned for its “Make Orange Green” program and other initiatives.

UT Knoxville’s Make Orange Green environmental effort has been recognized across the state and nation as one of the top campus sustainability programs.

“Ensuring our campus is sustainable is a top strategic goal for UT Knoxville,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “Advancing our green initiatives is vital to our campus and the best way to prepare our students for the green economy of the 21st century.”

The Princeton Review noted the student environmental initiative fee, which funds environmental stewardship programs. The fee also funded the purchase of 3,375 blocks of green power for the university, a purchase that was equivalent to removing 732 cars from the road for a year.

UT Knoxville was the first university in the state to institute a student-initiated fee for the purchase of green power.

The Princeton Review also recognized the campus’ 2007 sustainable building policy that makes the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system the standard for all new construction and renovation projects exceeding $5 million. Two new buildings, the Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building and the Student Health Center, currently are being built to LEED standards.

UT Knoxville also was noted for being a 2009 recipient of the Energy Efficiency Leadership Award at the first annual Summit for Campus Sustainability, a conference organized by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to discuss insights on campus sustainability.

In another step toward increasing campus sustainability, UT Knoxville recently adopted a Climate Action Plan as part of being a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The commitment lays the groundwork for the nation’s higher education community to take a leadership role in mitigating human influence on climate in day-to-day operations, curriculum and research. The plan is available online.

Last summer, The Princeton Review gave UT Knoxville a “green rating” of 85 in its 2010 edition of “The Best 371 Colleges.” Of 697 schools that received green ratings in 2009, only the 286 institutions that scored in the 80th or higher percentile are featured in the new “Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”

The Princeton Review’s green rating is a numerical score from 60 to 99 that provides a measure of a school’s performance as an environmentally aware institution as well as its efforts to provide and continually develop an environmentally beneficial student experience.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first, free, comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

The guidebook, including criteria and methodology for the green rating, can be downloaded at http://www.usgbc.org/campus.

C O N T A C T :

Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993, khintz@utk.edu)