Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Greenest Universities: Greenopia Ranking

Universities aren't shy about touting their green initiatives, and for good reason. When making a decision about what college to attend, as well as who to work for after they've graduated, most Millenials will opt for the greener choice. But a few well-publicized green initiatives don't make a college more environmentally-friendly than the next; Yale has gotten tons of press about its planet-friendly practices, but it was beaten out by fellow Ivy Harvard, in Greenopia's recently-released environmental rating of 100 of the largest universities in the United States.

At the top of the list, receiving 4 out of a possible 4 leafs were the University of Washington (for 4 LEED buildings and 25% of food served in cafeterias being locally-grown, as well as a comprehensive composting program) and the University of California at Santa Barbara. UCSB got top marks for having 6 LEED-certified buildings (with 20! more on the way) and a recycling rate of 62%

Rounding out the top 10 greenest schools were the University of Oregon, the University of California at Davis, Colorado State, Stanford, Harvard, Penn State, the University of California at San Diego, and Duke.“Rating the environmental performance of a university is a daunting task”, said Doug Mazeffa, Greenopia’s Research Director. “There are many different criteria that must be considered before any conclusions can be drawn.”

Data was collected from the university itself or from other credible sources pertaining to the green building design, waste program, food selection, campus vehicle fleet, water conservation measures, climate performance, renewable energy usage, and the overall environmental transparency of the school.“It was fascinating to see the variability in the environmental performance of each university”, said Gay Browne, CEO of Greenopia. “Some schools have made a tremendous effort, while others really have yet to make any significant changes to their policies.”

Click here to see the full rankings and all the Universitys' rankings.
by Starre Vartan, Greenopia Editor

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