Sierra magazine has released its sixth annual list ranking American universities for their commitment to environmental improvements. And with nearly 20 million students expected to attend college this fall, it's good to hear that many of the nation's universities are stepping up to the proverbial plate in terms of sustainability.
From Yale's 14 LEED buildings (including the LEED Platinum certified Kroon Hall, pictured above) to UC Davis' West Village (America's largest planned zero-net-energy residential community) to Stanford's campus farming workshops where ingredients (including wheat for bread and barley for beer) are harvested from their own organic gardens, schools across the country are taking large strides to help protect the planet and its resources.
"Over the last six years, Sierra has been privileged to connect with and learn from traditional institutions evolving in nontraditional ways," Sierra magazine’s editor-in-chief, Bob Sipchen, said. "With their ever growing emphasis on environmental responsibility, these schools are channeling the enthusiasm of their students, who consistently cite climate disruption and other environmental issues as the most serious challenges their generation must confront, while demonstrating leadership for other civic institutions."
The top-ranking schools for environmental excellence:
1. University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)
2. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
3. Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
4. University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
5. University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)
6. University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)
7. Duke University (Durham, NC)
8. Yale University (New Haven, CT)
9. University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA)
10. Appalachian State University (Boone, NC)
UC Davis, the top-ranked school this year, is being applauded for its comprehensive green initiatives, such as establishing rigorous sustainable purchasing standards, diverting 70 percent of the school’s garbage, and for their extraordinary alternative transportation options, 20,000 bicycles park on campus every day!
The complete ranking, along with stories about the specific schools’ green efforts, are available at www.sierraclub.org/coolschools.