The District's colleges and universities might pride themselves on being urban institutions in the heart of the nation's capital, but that isn't stopping the mayor and university presidents from pledging to make D.C. the greenest college town in America.

On Wednesday, nine university presidents joined Mayor Vincent Gray at American University’s LEED-Gold certified School of International Service Building to sign the District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge. The pledge requires the universities to commit to sustainability goals related to energy use and buildings, transportation, waste reduction, grounds maintenance, purchasing, and the management and reporting of progress. Examples of these commitments include:

- Achieve LEED certification on all new construction and major renovations;
- Purchase renewable energy;
- Employ District of Columbia residents in positions directly related to sustainability;
- Provide students with sustainability-related service learning opportunities in the District.
- Reduce stormwater runoff;
- Use tap water instead of bottled water;
- Support faculty who engage in sustainability related teaching and research;
- Implement LEED compliant cleaning program, policies and procedures.

The universities have until the end of the year to implement their changes. Participating universities include: American University, Corcoran College of Art + Design, Catholic University6, Gallaudet University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, Trinity Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia.