May 21, 2015, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) is the only higher education institution outside of North America to be named to The Princeton Review’s 2015 Green Colleges Guide, which highlights the “most environmentally responsible ‘green’ colleges.” AUC is one of 353 colleges listed, where 347 are in the United States and five universities are in Canada.Universities listed in the guide have demonstrated, according to The Princeton Review, the “most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities.”
"In less than four years, we've gone from having no institutional sustainability capacity to speak of, to being listed in the prestigious Princeton Review's Green Colleges Guide. That pretty much speaks for itself," said AUC's Sustainability Director Marc Rauch.
For AUC, the “green facts” listed in the guide include having, bicycle plan, free or reduced price transit passes and/or free campus shuttle, telecommute program for employees, carpool/vanpool matching program, reduced parking fees for car and van poolers, 71% of food budget spent on local/organic food, formal, sustainability committee, 75% waste diversion rate, 3% of graduates required to take sustainability-related courses, public greenhouse gas inventory plan and a sustainability officer.
The Princeton Review selected the colleges listed in the 2015 guide based on a review of more than 2,000 colleges. It used data from its 2013 - 2014 survey of school administrators in 861 colleges, whereby it calculated a Green Rating score (from 60 to 99) based on information about the school’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. Universities or colleges with a Green Rating score of 83 or higher were included in the guide.
AUC is also the first higher education institution in the Middle East and North Africa to calculate its own carbon footprint, the annual total of carbon dioxide and other significant greenhouse emissions emitted into the atmosphere as a result of daily activities and campus operations at AUC New Cairo. AUC has been releasing its annual carbon footprint report since 2012. This year, the report –– for the first time –– highlighted three-year trends. “By measuring the total greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of our daily activities and campus operations, we understand the impact of these activities on global warming and we see the big picture of how we use scarce resources such as natural gas, electricity and water,” said Rauch.