Sierra Magazine’s 2016 Cool School List

Submitted by Jessica Philippe.

Sierra Magazine’s annual Cool School List is open to all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. Two hundred schools submitted data this year and were ranked on answers to 64 questions that reflect a commitment to sustainability with specific emphasis on campus energy use, transportation, and fossil fuel divestment.

The goal of the list is to “serve as a guide for prospective students, current students, administrators, and alumni to compare colleges’ commitments to environmentalism. It also serves to spur healthy competition among schools, raise environmental standards on campus, and publicly reward the institutions that work hard to protect the planet.”  

Eighteen New York State institutions participated. Out of the top 20, Colgate University was ranked 20th and was recognized for receiving 80% of its heat from biomass generation; it’s stewardship of 1000+ acres of surrounding forests; and its 97 sustainability courses. The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry ranked 2nd for making huge strides in the areas of water, innovation, and planning. Over 25% of SUNY-ESF classes pertain to sustainability and the school has made a commitment to eliminating fossil fuel companies from its endowment portfolio. Check out the full list here.

Student poses in a university garden.

During orientation, first-year students in the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at the State University of New York (SUNY) participate in the Campus Day of Service, volunteering on an array of projects, including improving city parks. | Photo Courtesy of Wendy P. Osborne/SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry via Sierra Magazine






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