As environmental awareness spreads the issue of university sustainability is becoming increasingly important. While most universities do offer an environmental program, there is little comprehensive information pertaining to their actual environmental performance relative to other schools. With this in mind, Greenopia has released an environmental sustainability rating that ranks the nation’s 100 largest universities according to a comprehensive set of criteria that includes: 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. The top rated ranking of four out of four green leaves was achieved by two schools: the University of Washington located in Seattle, Washington and by the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The following 14 schools achieved the next highest ranking of three out of four green leaves: Carnegie Mellon University, Colorado State University, Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Penn State University, Stanford University, University of California, Davis, the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Oregon, University of Pennsylvania and University of Vermont.

A comprehensive set of criteria was used to determine the college ratings. Data was collected from each 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. The universities were then ranked according to how they performed in each of these categories.

“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 complete list ranking the top 100 universities in the U.S. according to their environmental sustainability profile produced by Greenopia. By clicking on each university’s link in the list it is possible to drill down to a more detailed rating that evaluates the environmental strengths and weaknesses of each school.

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UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies

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The online Sustainability Studies Certificate Program helps students gain an understanding of the theory and practice of sustainability. This program is available for both full time students and working professionals. Sustainability Studies looks to discover and examine humanity’s philosophies and practices, past and present, as they relate to the natural and social world, and consider what new or alternative philosophies and practices might be capable of providing a sustainable, balanced, and ethical future for the planet and its inhabitants.

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© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Chris de Morsella (146 Articles)

After a decade performing as a lead guitarist for rock bands, Chris de Morsella decided to return to the career his uncle mentored him in as a youth....Software Engineering. Since that time he has thrown himself into his work. He has designed a compound document publishing architecture for regulatory submissions capable of handling very large multi-document FDA regulatory drug approval submissions, for Liquent, a division of Thompson Publishing. At the Associated Press, Chris worked with senior editors at facilities around the world, to develop a solution for replacing existing editorial systems with an integrated international content management solution. He lead the design effort at Microsoft for a help system for mobile devices designed to provide contextual help for users. Chris also helped to develop the web assisted installer for LifeCam2.0, the software for Microsoft’s web cam and developed late breaking features for the product He also served with the Rhapsody client team to redesign and build a major new release of Real Networks Rhapsody client product. His most recent assignment has been Working with the Outlook Mobile Time Management team for the next release of Outlook Mobile for the SmartPhone. Chris' interests are in green building and architecture, smart grid, the cloud, geo-thermal energy, solar energy, smart growth, organic farming and permaculture. Follow Chris on Twitter.

  • http://www.sustainable.ufl.edu Anna Prizzia

    Dissapointing that they do not report full, up-to-date information. It is confusing to people to have so many and so varied rankings for sustainability in higher education. It will be a relif when AASHE STARS is finally out and people will have a reliable source of information backed with robust data.