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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

201 Institutions Named Cool Schools

September 16, 2016

Sierra has released its annual list of "Cool Schools," a ranking the magazine has produced since 2006. Twenty schools were recognized as those "working hardest to protect the planet in 2016."

To compile the list, Sierra, the publication of the Sierra Club, offered a free 64-question survey on sustainability practices that 202 four-year undergraduate colleges and universities completed. This year, the organization weighed "energy use by type" more than twice as heavily than in past years, and it added a new question about decisions to sell investments in fossil fuel companies.

Here are the top 10; the rest of the best can be found on Sierra’s website.

  1. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor (Maine) *
  2. State University of New York, Syracuse, New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry*
  3. University of California, Irvine *
  4. Colby College, Waterville (Maine) *
  5. Stanford University (California) *
  6. Arizona State University 
  7. Loyola University Chicago
  8. University of California, Davis
  9. University of Connecticut
  10. Green Mountain College (Vermont) *

*These campuses are also part of the recently released Princeton Review 2017 Green Honor Roll of 21 campuses. 

Sierra notes that more than two-thirds of high school students factor whether a college is green into their school selection process.


Sally Grans Korsh
Director, Facilities Management and Environmental Policy