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Some 64% percent of people believe climate change is a global emergency, but 89% of young people around the world say they believe they can make a difference, according to surveys by the United Nations.

The higher education sector has a tremendous impact on the habits of students and their contribution to a prosperous society. But when it comes to sustainability, universities need to walk the walk.

That means to attract students who are interested in environmental topics, reducing their footprint, and improving the environment, colleges need to incorporate sustainability practices into every aspect of life.

And 75% of prospective college students say that a college’s environmental commitment would affect their choice of school, according to a survey by Princeton Review. 

The criteria for this list of greenest colleges from Princeton Review is "superb" sustainability practices, a strong foundation in sustainability education, and a healthy quality of life for students on campus. Princeton Review uses school-reported data and student opinion, collected in 2020–2021 from institutional and student surveys.

They delve into how much of the campus food is local and organic, the availability of mass transit programs such as bike sharing and carpooling, the school's waste-diversion rate, LEED building certification, whether the school has an environmental studies major or minor and the college's plans to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the student opinion survey questions ask how sustainability issues influenced students' education and life on campus; is there administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

Based on the Princeton Review's ranking, these are the greenest colleges in the U.S. in 2022:

1. College of the Atlantic
4. Dickinson College
16. University of California Santa Cruz
4 Chatham Chatham U
5 bates college lewiston main sh
6 emory atlanta sh
8. Cornell University
6. Colorado State University
2. State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
25. University of California Santa Barbara
10. Stanford University
12 uc berkeley calif sh
13 univ of san diego sh
14 Loyola Marymount University los angeles calif Loyola Marymount University
15 merced Yosemit sh
16 agnes scott college agnes scottedu
14. American University
18 North Carolina State University raleigh sh
30. Pomona College
24. Middlebury College
21 Michigan State University e lansing sh
Iowa state ames sh
Loyola u Chicago sh
University of Maryland, College Park sh
28. University of Connecticut
26 emerson college paramount boston sh
27. James Madison University harrison va sh
28 tempe ariz asu sh
29 new york univ nyc nyu sh
30 penn state university park sh