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VCU Receives A- in National Green Report Card

Virginia Commonwealth University today received an A- in the national “Green Report Card” — an independent evaluation of sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. VCU was the only college in Virginia to receive a grade in the A range.

The College Sustainability Report  2011 assessed 322 colleges and universities, representing all 50 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces, in nine categories, ranging from Climate Change & Energy to Green Building to Investment Priorities. The report provides detailed school profiles and grades. Of the total number assessed, seven institutions received an A and 45 institutions received an A-.

Additionally, VCU is listed in the Green Report Card as one of 52 “Overall College Sustainability Leaders” and one of 120 “Campus Sustainability Leaders” in the United States and Canada.

Earlier this year, VCU President Michael Rao signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, an initiative to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by mid-century to avert the worst effects of global warming. Former VCU President Eugene P. Trani initially signed the commitment in April 2008.

“Today’s ranking by VCU in the top 16 percent of colleges and universities graded by the College Sustainability Report Card 2011 attests to the success of the commitment to sustainability made by VCU,” said Jacek Ghosh, VCU’s director of sustainability. “The successful advancement of the university’s climate commitment is due in equal part to the efforts and commitment of faculty, staff, and, importantly, students.”

In a few short years, VCU has made tremendous strides in sustainability, with its research and education building at the Rice Center, VCU’s 343-acre living laboratory on the James River, achieving the highest sustainability rating possible, LEED platinum. All new construction is undertaken with an eye toward best practices in sustainability.

Other changes have taken place in transportation. Faculty and staff can now share rides to work, and students and other members of the campus community don’t have to own a car in order to run errands or take a trip to the mall. In addition, mobility hubs are in place on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses for buses, zipcars, bicycle racks and power stations for Segways. VCU also is continuing to provide students with free GRTC bus passes.

For more information on sustainability efforts at VCU, visit http://www.vcugoesgreen.vcu.edu/.