Winthrop Recognized as a Green College

Staff Report From York County CEO

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Winthrop University appears in “The Princeton Review's Guide to 399 Green Colleges: 2018 Edition” for most environmentally responsible "green" colleges.

The ninth annual free guide surveyed hundreds of schools and asked them questions based on their academic offerings, campus policies, initiatives, activities and career preparation for students.

Chris Johnson, Winthrop’s sustainability coordinator, said he works to help the Winthrop campus understand that sustainability is not only about environmental practices. “Sustainability is the understanding that social equity, environmental integrity, and economic vitality are simultaneously considered as we make decisions that impact future generations,” he said.

Winthrop has taken on at least three new initiatives:

1. The university partnered with Comporium Communications to start a bike share program last spring. The bikes are a resource for students for short trips across campus, as well as longer trips to downtown or the Coliseum. Another transportation method will start in April 2019 when a free bus system will begin operation around Rock Hill.

2. Winthrop’s Office of Sustainability continues to evaluate and develop sustainable practices across the campus. Johnson has secured more than $100,000 in grants, measured how much Winthrop recycles, served on the community garden committee and monitored three themed gardens located on the Campus Green. In the spring, Johnson will oversee a Scouts BSA project for the planting of a garden inspired by the artist Van Gogh.

3. Sodexo, the new campus food service vendor, ended the use of plastic straws and participated in a Weigh the Waste event in October. The company also offers locally sourced foods when options are available.

The Green Colleges guide is important because college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. Among nearly 11,000 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2018 "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 63 percent overall said having information about a college's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

The Princeton Review has dedicated a green resource area on its website for students interested in attending a green college.