University of Pittsburgh
April 21, 2015

Pitt Among the Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges in the U.S. and Canada

University listed for fourth consecutive year in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges

Joe Miksch


Cell: 412-997-0314

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh is once again one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada. The Princeton Review has included Pitt in its Guide to 353 Green Colleges, published just in advance of the April 22 celebration of Earth Day and just after its eighth annual Student Sustainability Symposium. This is the fourth consecutive year that the University has been included in the guide.

“Being recognized once again as one of The Princeton Review’s 353 most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada is a great way to cap off the University’s Year of Sustainability, which is ending with the conclusion of the academic year,” says Daniel Marcinko, Pitt’s sustainability coordinator. “Our University’s long-term commitment toward developing a culture of sustainability will most certainly continue for years to come. We look forward to building a sustainable future.” 

Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson declared the 2014-15 school year the “Year of Sustainability” with the accompanying tagline, “One Pitt, One Planet.” Earlier, and to mark the 10th anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, Pitt officials announced a new $37.5 million funding initiative comprising various endowments and current funds to support sustainability-related academics and research.

In 2014, the University received two new Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certifications for campus buildings: Mark A. Nordenberg Hall and the mid-campus research complex renovation, both rated LEED Silver. Pitt also has committed to incorporating stormwater management and sustainable landscaping in all design efforts. 

In the academic realm, the Office of the Provost offered financial support for lectures, seminars, and workshops related to sustainability. The Provost and Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation also awarded three 2015 Faculty Fellowships in Sustainability, enabling professors to contribute to research within and across disciplines during the fellowship period and develop new sustainability-related courses.

Also in 2014, Pitt added three new green roofs on the Pittsburgh campus, bringing the total to eight green roofs. And the new Salk Hall addition, which is still in construction, has a bioswale system and rain garden to mitigate storm water. The bioswale will collect rainwater from the hillside behind the building and the roof, allowing the water to drain slowly before collecting overflow in an underground tank. The tank will be designed to gradually release water into the city sewer system to avoid overflow. 

Through the University’s energy initiatives, Pitt has realized over $50 million in energy and water cost avoidance since 1996. Pitt leans green in many other ways. Visit to learn more about Pitt’s sustainability efforts and click here for the University’s 2013 Report on Sustainability.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for inclusion in its 2015 green colleges guide based on Green Ratings derived from a survey it conducted in 2014 of administrators at hundreds of colleges; to be eligible for inclusion in the guide, schools had to have a Green Rating of at least 83 out of a possible total score of 99.

“We strongly recommend the University of Pittsburgh and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said The Princeton Review's Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher. 

Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. “Among nearly 10,000 teens who participated in our 2015 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college.” 

The Princeton Review created its Guide to 353 Green Colleges in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. Founded in 1981, The Princeton Review is a privately held education services company headquartered in Natick, Mass. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.