Sierra Club names greenest colleges for 2019

Sept. 3, 2019
Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, is the 1st Canadian school to top the Sierra Club's list of "Coolest Schools."

Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, has been rated as the greenest college in North America for 2019.

The university has topped Sierra magazine's  “Cool Schools” ranking of higher-education institutions with the greatest commitment to sustainability. Thompson Rivers is the first Canadian institution to achieve the top ranking from the Sierra Club.

Thompson Rivers was singled out for diverting more than 70 percent of its waste stream away from landfills and avoiding fossil fuels for heating.

It heats some buildings using a biomass system that burns waste wood and others with electricity produced from hydropower, wind, and solar. The university also is transitioning its entire vehicle fleet to electric or hybrid vehicles.

Sierra has been ranking colleges for 13 years "according to which ones offer the best sustainability-focused courses, ecofriendly cafeteria provisions, and carbon-neutral land and energy policies," it says.

The club collaborates with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to compile the rankings.

They survey schools about environmental practices in several categories, including food and transportation systems, water and waste management, purchasing procedures, academics, and investments. Analysts review the data and come up with a score for each institution.

Participation is open to four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, along with two-year community colleges.

For 2019, Sierra received information from 282 eligible colleges.

Here are the 10 higher-education institutions that topped the 2019 Cool Schools list.

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