COA named #1 Green College

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic topped The Princeton Review’s list of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges for the fourth straight year in a row.

The Review named COA number one of 413 schools in its Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition, highlighting the college’s integration of sustainability into all areas of its curriculum.

“Higher education is an essential driver of a more sustainable future, both locally and globally,” said COA President Darron Collins. “Our students, staff and faculty are passionate about making positive change through teaching, learning, knowledge creation and creative enterprise — and it’s our responsibility and honor to provide the platform for making that happen.”

The Princeton Review chose the 413 schools it profiles in the guide based on a survey the company conducted in 2018-19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The guide can be found online at

“We salute — and strongly recommend — College of the Atlantic to the many environmentally minded students who want to study and live at a green college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief.

In the “Campus Life” section of its profile on College of the Atlantic, The Princeton Review cited COA’s Energy Framework, which lays out steps for becoming a fossil fuel-free campus by 2030, and highlights that implementation involves students through hands-on, interdisciplinary classes and student-led projects to inspire and educate students to conceive of and implement similar work at larger scales in the world.

“Already, COA classes have researched, sited, and installed solar panels and a wind turbine on campus. These add to the college’s baseline renewables and environmentally sound building practices,” The Review states. The Review also features COA’s food systems, two organic farms, composting and discarded resource efforts, and sustainability in the curriculum.

College applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues, Franek said. Among the 11,900 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2019 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64 percent said that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.

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