There are over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in this country currently serving over 300,000 mostly African-American students. However, the Cool Schools of 2014 list in this month’s issue of Sierra magazine ranks the institutions of higher learning with the greenest policies and practices, and not one of them is a historically black college or university (HBCU). Princeton does the Sierra Club one better, literally: Of the 332 institutions in its Green Colleges guide, only the historically black Cheney University of Pennsylvania made the cut.
It could just be that while there is a lot of great green work going on at HBCUs, that they don’t scale up to the level of their Division I counterparts. They’d like to, but they don’t have the other kind of green needed to do it.
Only 37 percent of schools represented in the HBCU report have signed on to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, but 33 percent of them said that was because of a lack of resources to commit to the sustainability policies required in that covenant. Close to three-quarters of the schools reported not having access to financing for sustainability investments.