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University of Utah earns B for eco-friendliness

University of Utah earns B for eco-friendliness

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The University of Utah has earned a 'B' grade in a nationwide survey of environmental practices on college campuses.

The Sustainable Endowments Institute gave 15 schools nationwide an A, while 75 earned a B. Last year, the University of Utah got a C.

"We're not doing what we do for the ratings," said Craig Forster, director of the school's Office of Sustainability. "We are helping students prepare for the future, lead more simpler lives and, in so doing, perhaps allow them to leave a smaller footprint."

Utah earned a B for its increasing its efforts to conserve energy. The school also earned high marks for owning nine hybrid vehicles and giving students free transit passes.

"The survey raises awareness of the importance of sustainability, not only for its economic importance, but because the practices are good for business," said Lisa Chase, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

She said using environmentally friendly practices saves schools money and has been shown to help make students are more concerned with the environment.

"What they do impacts the community around the school. They are an example of what can be done," she said.

Brigham Young University was the only other Utah school to be surveyed, but it didn't respond. What the survey did find out about the school didn't help. BYU received an F.

Brian Evans, administrative vice president at BYU, said the F grade isn't a surprise because the school didn't respond to the survey.

He noted that BYU participates in recycling and energy and water conservation.

"We focus our attention on initiatives that protect the environment and make economic sense," Evans said.

Information from: Deseret News

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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