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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State named one of greenest campuses in the US by The Princeton Review

Kendall Hall Photo credit: creative commons

Chico State continues to gain recognition, as the university was listed in the Princeton Review’s annual “Guide to Green Colleges.”

The Princeton Review is an organization that helps students find the college that is best for them. They do this by putting each campus listed on their site through a series of reviews.

One of these reviews is dubbed the “Guide to Green Colleges” and determines which colleges in the US focus most on the environment and sustainability.

The guide is compiled in partnership with a second organization, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

AASHE’s goal is exactly what its title suggests, to support the study and promotion of sustainability on college campuses.

Fletcher Alexander, the sustainability coordinator for Chico State’s Institute for Sustainable Development, explains that this program is dynamic in the way that it gets creative to find new ways to research sustainability.

“AASHE uses many different methods to determine how sustainable a college is,” said Alexander. “They look at whether a college has electric vehicles on campus, if the college uses real food in its meals, does the campus have an excellent recycling plan, things like that.”

When asked if any specific program or organization is responsible for Chico State obtaining a position in the “Guide to Green Colleges,” Alexander explains that there were many contributions.

“Because of how broad AASHE’s focus is when studying a college, just how much they look at when determining sustainability, there is no specific organization, no program that by itself could convince AASHE to list Chico State on the guide.”

“Instead, it is all of these organizations, programs and the individuals within them pitching in and doing their part as a whole that leads AASHE to recognize Chico State’s many achievements in sustainability.”

One of the achievements that accelerated the trend toward sustainability at Chico State was back in 2014.

According to a press release from Chico State at that time, the university had investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies. These investments were challenged by students in Chico State’s Associated Students Sustainability Education Outreach program.

With the help of University staff, the students passed a resolution that Chico State would remove all its investments in these fossil fuel companies, to better promote sustainability on campus.

“By doing this, these students and staff led Chico State to be the first US public college to have zero investments in fossil fuel companies. That really is an amazing achievement,” said Alexander.

Moving forward after this and the latest achievement of appearing in the “Guide to Green Colleges”, Chico State has another project that was brought online over the summer; Storyboard.

Storyboard is a website that is connected to 14 of Chico State’s buildings. This includes locations like Butte and Lassen Hall, as well as the residence halls.

Through this connection, Storyboard can reveal how much energy each of these buildings uses. The website is updated every day so that students can know the exact environmental footprint these buildings have.

“At most colleges, this kind of information is released every six months or every year. This is a new way for Chico State to be transparent with its students.”

Andrew Freeman can be reached at [email protected] or at @Andrew_LFreeman on Twitter.

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