All over the country, high school graduates (and their parents) are preparing for the big move to college, even as students entering their junior and senior years are surveying their options for higher education. For green-minded students and parents alike, the Sierra Club is here to help. The non-profit organization recently released its sixth annual listing of the greenest schools in the land, compiled via an exhaustive online survey, which covered — among other things — green buildings.
The “Cool Schools” listing appeared recently in SIERRA magazine. Triple Pundit reports that 96 schools responded to the voluntary survey, known as the Campus Sustainability Data Collector, which was comprised of 300 pages of questions (not to mention the supplemental questions). This survey meticulously analyzed and measured each campus’ success in the areas of energy supply, efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, and financial investments. It was open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.
Not surprisingly, the University of California Davis came in at number one in these rankings. The university has made headlines in recent years with UC Davis West Village, the largest net zero development ever planned, which offers students ultra-green housing options. The university also maintains rigorous green purchasing standards, diverts nearly 70 percent of all campus trash from landfills, and offers a student-run, natural gas-powered bus service (in addition to 42 miles of bike paths, and over 21,000 bike parking spaces).
The University of California Davis earned 709.17 out of a possible 894.5 points.
Other top-ranked green schools include the Georgia Institute of Technology (704.89 points); Stanford University (681.48); University of Washington (679.56 points); University of Connecticut (667 points); University of New Hampshire (653.36 points); Duke University (642.32 points); Yale University (640.08 points); University of California, Irvine (628.48 points); and Appalachian State University (627.92 points).