The 4th annual Coolest Schools Survey
Good info for all of you getting ready to graduate ~ especially Kristen (we are SO proud of you!)
A telling trend began in the second half of this decade with regard to 'greener' choices being made by the general public. In 2007, People and Planet, the British student environmental group, produced the first 'Green University League Table' in hope that "this will be a significant factor that students take into consideration when making their choice of university."
This trend has naturally spread in the United States. For the past several years, Sierra Magazine has published its annual list of the "Coolest (green) Schools", and the Princeton Review began rating "Green Colleges." In July 2008 the Princeton Review stated that "6 out of 10 college applicants say environmental factors would effect their decision to apply or attend."
An 11-page questionnaire was sent to 900 colleges and universities across the U.S. asking them to detail their sustainability efforts. Sierra Mag received 163 responses, "nearly all of them painstakingly thorough." Thanks went back to the magazine for "keeping up the competitive pressure on universities to push the sustainability envelope." from Kentucky's University of Louisville, and "reminds us of what we've accomplished and how much is yet to be done...It helps encourage continued innovation, knowing others are watching." from Miami University in Ohio.
The point is indeed to create competition, to generate awareness, and to celebrate that so many colleges even have a sustainability officer. You can peruse a copy of the questionnaire, an explanation of the scoring methodology and every school's complete response at sierraclub.org/coolschools.
We are pleased to see that the University of California, Irvine came in at #6 with a note: Incentives for alternative transportation minimize car commuting to UCI, even though it is in "SUV-obsessed Orange County"!