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The Sierra Club has released its 2018 list of Cool Schools, its annual list of college and universities that show a staunch commitment to sustainability. This year, Green Mountain College — second in last year’s rankings — and the University of California-Irvine (UC-Irvine) led the list of 269 colleges and universities.
Green Mountain College, a small, liberal arts school located in Poultney, Vt., is one of only a handful of colleges in the country to go completely carbon neutral. It’s working toward a goal of using 100 percent renewable energy to power the campus by 2020.
UC-Irvine jumped seven spots to tie Green Mountain for the top spot this year. The university includes a net-zero emissions housing project and a “pioneering power-to-gas hydrogen-pipeline injection project in which solar power generated on campus is converted into hydrogen and inserted into the (university’s) gas supply.”
Other universities of note in the top five include the University of New Hampshire in second place, the University of Connecticut in third, Colorado State University in fourth, and Arizona State University in fifth.
The methodology for the rankings is based on a survey and data from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. You can read more about the way the rankings are calculated here.
This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story profiling John Chadwick of Arlington (Va.) Public Schools.