The Sierra Club has ranked Green Mountain College as the number one “cool school” in its ranking of top “green” colleges. Rounding out the top five are Dickenson College, Evergreen State College, the University of Washington and Stanford University.
This year’s survey gives more weight to each of the school’s energy supply, which resulted in some changes at the top of the list, says Sierra. Case-in-point: The top school, Vermont’s Green Mountain College, placed 35th last year. There also are nine newcomers to this year’s top 20.
The ranking finds that no school scored a perfect 100 but Green Mountain came closest, with 88.6. Sierra says Green Mountain College excels in most categories and is the MVP in creativity, getting power and heat from biomass and biogas (cow power).
Dickinson College, with a score of 86.1, is said to integrate sustainability studies across its curricula, maintains a high-efficiency energy plant, and runs a hands-on biodiesel shop.
Evergreen State College, with a score of 85.9, has a self-imposed student body clean-energy fee that enables the college to buy renewable-energy credits for 100 percent of its electricity.
The University of Washington, with a score 84.7, holds an annual Environmental Innovation Challenge across all departments, while Stanford University, with a score of 84.6, has a $225 million Global Climate and Energy Project that focuses on advanced technologies to help lower carbon.
Sierra also highlights six colleges that have made significant progress in their “green GPA.” They include the Southern Illinois University, The University of Missouri, Appalachian State University, Wisconsin’s Lawrence University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Portland State University.
The top school in last year’s ranking was the University of Colorado at Boulder, which ranked 13 this year among the top green colleges.
Click here for this year’s Top 100 ranking.