UMF named one of the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review – Bangor Daily News
Bangor Daily News
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FARMINGTON —The University of Maine at Farmington is honored to be named one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review and is included in “The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2023 Edition.”
“UMF has been a leader in the region and the state in its commitment to sustainable environmental practices long before it was popular,” said Joseph McDonnell, UMF interim president. “Farmington’s commitment to renewable energy, recycling and environmental studies has set a standard for our students to deeply care about our environment and to be an active part of the solution. We are pleased the Princeton Review recognized our long-standing commitment to the environment.”
UMF has a long history of actively promoting environmental sustainability on campus and in the area community. The UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition, an organization of students, faculty, staff and community members, was created in 2001 to promote sustainability on campus and in the region.
It has collaborated widely with community groups, including a partnership with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Town of Farmington to create a compost initiative to provide businesses in the area a way to recycle food waste, while also offering community members affordable compost for their needs.
Farmington’s Green Vision Statement in 2006 provided the foundation for sustainable practices to be an integral part of campus management leading to the construction of several LEED certified campus buildings, signage of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment, and recognition by the U.S. House of Representatives for UMF’s efforts in making a clean energy campus a reality.
In 2016, UMF completed a biomass heating plant that burns locally sourced wood chips to heat close to 85 percent of the campus with renewable biomass. The UMF heating plant is projected to recoup construction costs through energy savings in the first 10 years of operation and is reducing the University’s carbon emissions by 4,000 tons per year.
The Princeton Review chose the 455 colleges based on its 2021–22 survey of administrators at 713 colleges concerning their institutions’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 data points from the survey to tally Green Rating scores for the schools on a scale of 60 to 99. Colleges that earned a Green Rating score of 80 or higher were chosen for the Guide to Green Colleges. Of the 455 schools selected for the 2023 edition of the guide, 421 are in the U.S., 26 are in Canada, two are in Taiwan and one (each) is in Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, and Morocco.