Top of the Class: Cool Green Schools
Sierra Club has published its list of the America's 100 greenest colleges.Just in time for back to school
Here's your top 10:
1. Green Mountain College - Poultney, VT
2. Dickinson College - Carlisle, PA
3. Evergreen State College - Olympia, WA
4. University of Washington - Seattle, WA
5. Stanford - Stanford, CA
6. University of California - Irvine, CA
7. Northland College - Ashland, WI
8. Harvard University - Cambridge, MA
9. College of the Atlantic - Bar Harbor, ME
10. Hampshire College - Amherst, MA
There are some of the nation's most renowned schools on the list but chances are you've never heard of others. It is also likely that some very good green schools are missing, but they have only themselves to blame. Of the 900 questionnaires sent out only 163 were returned.
This is the magazine's fourth annual survey and priorities shifted this year to more heavily weight energy use. As a result, nine newcomers made it into the top 20, including the winner, Green Mountain College, which was recognized for heavily using biomass and biogas for its power and heat and for plans to become the nation's first carbon neutral school by next year.
Nine other categories were considered in measuring a school's commitment to sustainability: efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments, and a catchall section titled "other initiatives."
Of course the list will be controversial. These sort of rankings always are. However, as noted in the article, although Sierra Club "worked hard to apply rigorous, objective standards when evaluating the questionnaires, a certain amount of subjectivity was inevitable, and we hope that readers (and the growing legion of college sustainability officers) will bear that in mind. The point, after all, is to create competition, to generate awareness, and to celebrate that so many colleges even have a sustainability officer."
Images courtesy of Aesthetic Apparatus.