Princeton Review Names GU to '18 ‘Green’ Colleges List

November 02, 2018

Gonzaga News Service 

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University once again has been named among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges and is included in the 2018 edition of the “Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges.”

The publication chose the schools for this ninth annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from its 2017-18 survey of 648 colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. Schools with “green rating” scores of 80 (of a possible 99) or higher were selected for inclusion in the list.

Gonzaga — which was included in the same ranking in 2013, 2015 and 2016 — earned a green rating score of 93.

“We strongly recommend Gonzaga and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said Robert Franek, editor-in-chief, noting that college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues.

Among nearly 11,000 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2018 “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 63 percent said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

The publication notes Gonzaga “feels a keen responsibility to help protect our environment for future generations. And, in an effort to prove just how committed it is to this cause, the university approved its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2013. Moreover, as a signatory of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Gonzaga has pledged to work toward climate neutrality.”

Gonzaga aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 20 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035 (from 2009 levels). Gonzaga hopes to attain total climate neutrality by 2050. To reach that goal, Gonzaga aims for all new campus construction to meet LEED Silver certifications or better. Also, GU supports renewable energy by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates equivalent to 44 percent of its energy usage through Avista Utilities’ Buck-a-Block program. With an additional 5 percent of its energy coming through Avista Utilities’ Solar Select Program, starting in December, Gonzaga’s total energy usage from renewable sources will be just shy of 50 percent, said Jim Simon, Gonzaga’s director of sustainability.

Gonzaga has worked to ensure that green practices are implemented in landscaping and lawn care through computerized irrigation controls that allow staff to remotely monitor and control water output based on weather.

Gonzaga also participates in Spokane’s “Clean Green” program — composting more than 35 tons of tree needles and leaves each year. Finally, with robust car sharing options, an electric vehicle charging station and free bike rentals, Gonzaga makes it easy for students and faculty on the go to adopt green practices.

For more information about Gonzaga’s sustainability efforts, please contact Jim Simon at (509) 313-5571 or