College's green grades improving

  • A green initiativeAn ongoing biofuel project in the College's Keck Environmental Field Laboratory is an example of sustainability efforts on campus.

    A green initiative

William and Mary continues to be recognized for progress in the area of environmental sustainability. On the heels of receiving a grade of 84 (on a scale of 60-99) in the Princeton Review's inaugural "green ratings"; the College has jumped nearly two grades in another sustainability report card.

The College improved to a C in the latest report card by the Sustainable Endowment Institute. The institute, which rated William and Mary with a D- in 2007, cited a number of factors for the improvement such as the College's recently adopted sustainability policy adopted by William and Mary President W. Taylor Reveley III and the new sustainability committee. The report card also gave the College high marks for student involvement, food and recycling, and efforts to incorporate environmentally friendly standards in major construction projects.

College officials welcomed the improved grades but say the work must continue.

"We always knew we were better than last year's grade and while we've got more work to do it's always good to be recognized for progress," said Anna Martin, vice president for administration.

Martin said that each of the different reviews uses different criteria and evaluation techniques so it's difficult to compare them. However, she added, "What we can determine and celebrate is the dedication of our campus community to become a model for how a small university with limited resources can make a real difference in the area of environmental sustainability. There is real momentum to going green on the William and Mary campus."

William and Mary students last year overwhelmingly supported an annual $30 green fee, which will raise more than $200,000 annually toward sustainability efforts. The administration endorsed the fee and it was approved last spring by the William and Mary Board of Visitors. The sustainability committee, which will be made up of students, faculty and staff, will administer the green fee.