Arizona State University
Aerial view of Arizona State University

Arizona State is named greenest university for 2021

Oct. 1, 2021
The university ranked No. 1 on Sierra magazine’s “coolest schools” rankings.

Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., has been selected No. 1 on Sierra magazine's 15th annual “coolest schools.”

The award recognizes the most environmentally friendly colleges and universities in North America, reports AZ Big Media

This marks the first time the university attained the top spot in the competition. It placed 4th in the 2020 rankings. A record 328 institutions took part in this year's competition.

The move to the top spot comes amid the university's comprehensive approach to sustainability that spans academia, campus operations, student life and endowment investments. This is the fifth year Arizona State has scored in the top 20 of the Sierra Club’s competition.

The university has achieved carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are from university-owned and -controlled resources such as buildings and vehicles. Scope 2 emissions are generated from Arizona State's purchased energy.

Some 94.4% of Arizona State academic departments offer sustainability courses and 83% of the departments that conduct research have some sustainability research, school officials said. Additionally, 37% of the university’s expenditures on food and drinks are plant-based foods.

Arizona State now has 66 LEED-certified building projects: seven LEED Platinum, 34 LEED Gold, 24 LEED Silver and 1 LEED-certified.

The schools in the "coolest schools" competition were ranked based on their commitment to sustainability curriculum and research, student engagement with environmental advocacy, renewable energy, waste management and university planning and administration.

Here are the top 10 "coolest schools" of 2021, according to Sierra magazine.

1. Arizona State University (Tempe)

2. University of California, Irvine.

3, Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, British Columbia).

4. Cornell University (Ithaca, New York).

5. State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Syracuse, New York).

6. University of California, Berkeley.

7. University of California, Merced.

8. University of Connecticut (Storrs, Connecticut).

9. University of New Hampshire (Durham, New Hampshire).

10. Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colorado).

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