University of New England’s Danielle N. Ripich Commons is a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly building featuring bird-safe glass, solar panels and ultra-high efficiency mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, among other ecologically responsible components. The special glass was incorporated as the result of a student petition. SUBMITTED PHOTO

BIDDEFORD — The University of New England has been named as one of the 399 most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review. The education services company known for its test preparation and tutoring services, books, and college rankings features UNE in the 2018 edition of its book, ‘The Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges,’ which was published on Oct. 16.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this ninth annual edition of its “green guide” from hundreds of four-year colleges, selecting those schools that demonstrate a deep commitment to the environment and sustainability. This is the second year in a row that UNE has made the list.

According to UNE’s Vice President of University Admissions Scott Steinberg, a college or university’s track record on sustainability issues is a significant factor among prospective students when deciding to which institutions they apply.

“Colleges’ commitment to the environment truly does influence application and attendance choices for a majority of prospective students,” Steinberg said. “At UNE, we demonstrate our commitment to environmental issues through our programs, facilities and initiatives, so it is very gratifying for UNE’s work in sustainability to be recognized, and it is helpful to prospective students to have the ‘green guide’ as a resource when weighing schools’ dedication to environmental concerns.”

Alethea Cariddi, UNE’s sustainability coordinator, said that she witnesses UNE students’ commitment to environmental responsibility on a daily basis and notes that it is the students who are at the forefront of several of the university’s green initiatives.

“Students are really leading the charge on many of the stewardship activities at UNE,” Cariddi said. “From the multiple demonstration projects within the Edible Campus Initiative to advocacy for the installation of bird protection glass in our newest building to expansion of the composting program, it is the students who are volunteering their time and guiding the development of our campus sustainability efforts. They have the energy, and we do everything we can to support them and follow their energy.”

Colleges were selected for the guide based on a combination of institutional data and student surveys. Factors considered include whether students have a quality of life on campus that is both healthy and sustainable, how well a school is preparing students for employment in an increasingly green economy, the degree to which a school’s policies are environmentally responsible, how sustainability issues influences students’ education and life on campus, the extent to which administration and students support environmental awareness and conservation efforts, and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

The rankings are available at

The University of New England is Maine’s largest private university, featuring two distinctive campuses in Biddeford and Portland, a vibrant campus in Tangier, Morocco, and an array of innovative offerings online. UNE’s hands-on, experiential approach empowers students to join the next generation of leaders in their chosen fields. The school is home to Maine’s only medical and dental colleges, a variety of other interprofessionally aligned health care programs, and nationally recognized degree paths in the marine sciences, the natural and social sciences, business, the humanities and the arts.

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