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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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SDSU has nearly two dozen electric vehicle charging stations on campus. (Video: Melissa Porter/SDSU)

Leading the Way in Sustainability

SDSU was recognized as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible universities by The Princeton Review.
By Ryan Schuler and Video by Melissa Porter

“SDSU is committed to being a leader in sustainability because we understand its importance for the future.”

The Princeton Review recognized San Diego State University in its annual guide for the most environmentally responsible colleges, an objective SDSU pursues through initiatives that include reduced carbon emissions, renewable energy sources and campus hydration stations. 

Released Oct. 22, the “Guide to Green Colleges” recognizes institutions that are making exceptional commitments to sustainability.

“I love to see our sustainability community, which has grown in diversity and intensity, recognized nationally,” said Courtney Ransom, a senior majoring in sustainability and commissioner of the Associated Students Sustainability / Green Love commission that leads and promotes A.S. sustainability initiatives. 

“SDSU is committed to being a leader in sustainability because we understand its importance for the future,” Ransom added. “Passionate students have made sustainability a part of our identity, and we’re excited to work to fully understand how to continue building our sustainability initiatives."  

In addition to SDSU, schools on the list include Stanford University, Virginia Tech University and the University of California, Berkeley. 

Universities are selected based on 25 data points, including campus policies, initiatives, activities and the career preparation offered to its students who are interested in green jobs. More than 650 colleges were considered this year. 

The Princeton Review noted prospective college students and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. In a survey of nearly 11,900 teenagers and parents earlier this year, The Princeton Review found that 64% said that knowing a college is committed to sustainability was an influential force in their decision to apply. 

SDSU offers a major and minor in sustainability and numerous other academic programs that focus on sustainability. The university has replaced grass with more responsible and drought-tolerant landscaping and, through the leadership of the Associated Students, installed solar arrays throughout campus. Other programs, initiatives and hallmarks include: 
  • Nine campus buildings are LEED certified, including Viejas Arena, South Campus Plaza, the Aztec Recreation Center, the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union (LEED Double Platinum), Zura Hall, Storm and Nasatir Halls. 
  • Bicycle maintenance and air filling stations installed throughout campus.
  • Hydration stations around campus allow individuals access to filtered water without the need to purchase bottled water. 
  • SDSU Dining requiring all tenants to meet the GRA's Certified Green Restaurant environmental standards.
  • The Aztec Shops’ "Campus Grown" campaign, which grows fresh produce in plots and community gardens for use in dining facilities. 
  • Aztecs Rock Hunger, an annual event that is currently active through Nov. 10. During the event, food is collected from the campus community and donated to a local food bank.