ASU ranks in top 'Coolest Schools’

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Article Published: Aug. 15, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 15, 2013
ASU ranks in top 'Coolest Schools’

ASU ranks in Sierra magazine’s top ‘Coolest Schools’

Sierra magazine released its seventh annual ranking of the nation’s “Coolest Schools,” a salute to U.S. colleges that are helping to solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably.

Sierra examined the academic institutions making a difference for the planet, seeking out campuses that are creating tangible change in all categories of greenness — from what’s served in dining halls to what’s taught in lecture halls to what’s powering the dorms. Whether it’s Cornell’s minor in climate change or American University’s new campus-wide composting program, schools across America are taking dramatic steps to help protect the planet and its resources.

Out of the top 20 schools, Appalachian State University ranked 18.

“For the past seven years, Sierra magazine has ranked colleges and universities on their commitment to fighting climate disruption and making sure the future their students will inhabit has safe water, clean air and beautiful landscapes,” said Bob Sipchen, Sierra‘s editor-in-chief. “By showing such strong leadership on so many fronts — from energy use and transportation to the courses they offer — the best of these schools are pointing the way for other institutions.”

Sierra magazine’s top 20 schools of 2013 are:

University of Connecticut
Dickinson College
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Davis
Cornell University
Green Mountain College
Stanford University
Georgia Institute of Technology
American University
University of California, Santa Barbara
Oregon State University
University of Washington
University of Maryland
University of New Hampshire
Harvard University
Emory University
Evergreen State University
Appalachian State University
Lewis & Clark College
University of California, San Diego

The University of Connecticut, Sierra’s No. 1 school, stands out for offering more than 600 sustainability-related classes; for having reduced its water use by 15 percent since 2005; and for, over the past two years, having retrofitted 13 buildings to prevent emitting 2,640 annual tons of carbon dioxide. In addition, more than a quarter of the food served in dining halls is processed within 100 miles, with many ingredients harvested right on campus.

The complete rankings, along with this year’s coverage of higher education’s environmental efforts, are online at

Sierra is the official publication of the Sierra Club, America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. For more information, visit

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