UNCG is among the nation’s most sustainable colleges and universities according to Sierra magazine’s 2016 Cool Schools, which ranks UNCG No. 3 in the UNC system and No. 71 in the nation.
The annual rankings – compiled by the Sierra Club’s monthly publication – highlight 201 four-year undergraduate colleges and universities across the country. UNCG earned especially high marks in the areas of innovation, planning, co-curricular activities and water.
“The Cool Schools ranking is a reflection of the strength of our work in sustainability at UNCG,” said Dr. Shanna Eller, sustainability coordinator in UNCG’s Office of Sustainability. “We are proud to see such exciting things being done by institutions in North Carolina and across the nation.”
The Cool Schools list is designed to serve as a guide for prospective and current students, administrators and alumni to review and compare sustainability efforts on college campuses, while spurring healthy competition among institutions and raising environmental standards.
In order to participate, institutions are asked to submit a specific set of data, which is then scored and ranked by Sierra magazine researchers. This year, the publication’s scoring methodology was updated to reflect trends in campus sustainability as well as the broader priorities of the Sierra Club. For example, significant percentage points were awarded in the areas of campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel.
In addition to the Sierra magazine recognition, UNCG is one of just four universities in the state to hold a Gold rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). UNC Chapel Hill, Appalachian State and NC State have also received Gold ratings.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications