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Colgate named 37th ‘coolest school’ by Sierra Club

By Matt Hames on August 22, 2013
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The community, a small but growing aspect of Colgate's overall sustainability strategy

The community garden is a small but growing part of Colgate’s overall sustainability goals.

Colgate was named the 37th greenest college (PDF) in the nation in a ranking of the most sustainable colleges by the Sierra Club.

Colgate ranks higher on the “Coolest Schools” list than schools such as Middlebury (41st), UPenn (42nd), Hobart and William Smith Colleges (73rd), College of the Atlantic (82nd), Wesleyan University (83rd), Bowdoin (106th), and Dartmouth (108th).

The ranking is based on the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report, which was completed in June for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

“Dozens of individuals on campus participated in the survey, which was led by Professor Jessica Graybill and the entire Sustainability Council,” said John Pumillio, director of sustainability at Colgate.

Graybill added, “We consider this a worthwhile effort because this assessment will receive attention from the media, the public and, most importantly, the younger generation.”

The submission to STARS that earned the silver is public and provides the university with detailed data about sustainability at Colgate. The Silver Award from STARS and the recognition from the Sierra Club are important steps towards Colgate’s sustainability goals.

“We are all proud that Sierra Club has recognized us as a national leader in the higher education sustainability movement. But there is still work to do,” said Pumillio about the recognition. ”We are looking forward to continued community-wide collaboration and innovation that will help us become one of the first carbon neutral institutions in the country by 2019.”

Subscribe to the sustainability blog, or visit Colgate Sustainability for updates on the progress toward being carbon neutral.

Also, read why the Sierra Club thinks green schools are important.

What do you think about this ranking and the sustainability goals at Colgate?

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