The Newkirk Alumni Center at the University of California Irvine is one of several campus buildings that have received a LEED Platinum rating for sustainable design and construction elements University of California, Irvine

The Newkirk Alumni Center at the University of California, Irvine, is one of several campus buildings that have received a LEED Platinum rating for sustainable design and construction elements.

Too cool: UC Irvine again tops the list of greenest colleges

For the 2nd year in a row, Sierra magazine names University of California, Irvine, as the greenest higher-education institution.

For the second year in a row, the University of California, Irvine, is No. 1 in Sierra magazine’s annual “Cool Schools” ranking of the nation’s greenest colleges.

UC Irvine says that the major sustainable initiatives that contributed to its top ranking are three on-campus solar projects, a 19-megawatt turbine cogeneration power plant, and energy-efficiency goals that the institution consistently exceeds.

“We’re thrilled that our successes in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction – both in campus infrastructure and research – have garnered this recognition,” University Chancellor Howard Gillman says in a news release. “We have people dedicated to zero-waste and water preservation projects, alternative energy research and more."

Other environmental efforts at UC Irvine: More than 200 faculty members conduct research and provide instruction on such topics as collapsing glaciers and sea level rise in Greenland and Antarctica, conservation biology across California, ocean health and water resources administration; atmospheric chemistry and global systems modeling; energy conservation, power generation and transportation; climate change-related drought, famine, flooding, disease and poverty; and land-use planning, environmental law, public health and social justice.

The university's Sustainability Initiative harnesses the university’s scholarship and resources to develop new systems and cultures that no longer harm the planet or people. The Global Sustainability Resource Center is a hub for student leadership and education; 22 campus clubs and programs with green themes have been established.

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