2021 2021: UMass Dartmouth named one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges for 10th year in a row
UMass Dartmouth named one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges for 10th year in a row

A decade worth of institutional sustainability efforts were awarded by Princeton Review’s latest rankings

Campus as seen from above

UMass Dartmouth was named one of the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2022 Edition. This is the tenth year in a row UMass Dartmouth has made the prestigious list.

The Princeton Review chose 420 schools for distinction based on its survey of administrators at 835 colleges in 2020-21 about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The company's editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points to select the schools.

“UMass Dartmouth continues our efforts to support a broad portfolio of sustainable activities across the campus. We are honored to be recognized for the 10th year running and invite any prospective student who wants to attend a campus that is leading by example on sustainability, to check us out,” said Jamie Jacquart, Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability.

Over the past year, UMass Dartmouth has upgraded campus infrastructure to operate in a less-impactful way. This includes wrapping steam piping in removable insulating jackets that allow for valves to be checked while keeping pipes insulated during operations. The university has also partnered with Eversource to upgrade fluorescent lighting to more efficient LED bulbs. This includes a complete changeover at UMass Law, the School for Marine Science and Technology, the CVPA STAR Store in downtown New Bedford, and several buildings on the main campus. The lighting upgrade initiative is currently 50% complete and is anticipated to finish by the end of 2022.

"We strongly recommend UMass Dartmouth to students who care about the environment want to study and live at a green college," said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief. “UMassD offers excellent academics and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability that is exemplary on many counts.”

Franek noted that The Princeton Review has seen an increasing level of interest among students in attending colleges with green practices, programs, and offerings. Seventy-eight percent of the more than 11,000 college applicants that participated in The Princeton Review's 2021 College Hopes & Worries Survey said that having information about a college's commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a school. This was a 12% increase over the 66% who felt that way during the 2020 survey.

The university operates a 520-kW battery storage system, in combination with other measures, that reduce the electrical load from the grid during peak usage times. The new battery was the latest in a series of campus sustainability infrastructure upgrades, including a 1.6MWh Co-generation plant and 269 kW of solar photovoltaic panels.

In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named UMass Dartmouth as the "College/University Partner of the Year" for the 2018 national WasteWise awards. The UMass Dartmouth Dining Services team was recognized for its proper management of purchasing and food production to minimize leftovers. Dining Services also donates unsold, prepared packaged foods weekly during the school year to local liturgical ministries serving the homeless. In 2017, Dining Services unveiled a new program called Meals with Dignity, in which student volunteers work to package meals made with wholesome, leftover food from the dining hall on a biweekly basis and to deliver meals to the on-campus food pantry.