uc irvine

Sierra Club chooses greenest colleges and universities for 2020

Sept. 29, 2020

The University of California, Irvine, has been rated as the greenest college in North America for 2020.

The university is in the No. 1 spot on Sierra magazine's  “Cool Schools” ranking of higher-education institutions with the greatest commitment to sustainability.

UC Irvine has been in the top 10 of the Sierra Club's list for 11 consecutive years.

The Sierra Club says 312 higher-education institutions participated in the Cool Schools rankings.

Some of the UC Irvine's sustainable efforts: Researchers are working to harness the storage potential of green hydrogen to complement their decarbonized electric grid and enable zero-carbon solutions for seasonal storage, heavy transit, and high-temperature manufacturing processes.

When learning went remote last spring, UC Irvine adapted its pantry food distribution services to continue to serve thousands of students—an online appointment system enables them to reserve weekly food boxes, and to redeem monthly produce vouchers from a local farm.

The university's Pump to Plug program has helped reduce 23,125 metric tons of commuter carbon dioxie emissions by incentivizing faculty, staff, and students to switch to electric vehicles.

The top-ranked in last year's Cool Schools list—Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia—ranked third this year.

Here are the 10 highest-ranked colleges on the 2020 Cool Schools list:

College                                                                                        Location                     Rating

1. University of California, Irvine                                              Irvine CA                     89.95
2. Stanford University                                                                Stanford CA               89.86
3. Thompson Rivers University                                                Kamloops BC            89.63
4. Arizona State University                                                        Tempe AZ                  89.31
5. University of California, Merced                                            Merced CA               86.64
6. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry     Syracuse N              85.21
7. Colorado State University                                                        Fort Collins CO       84.68
8. University of Connecticut                                                        Storrs CT                 84.68
9. University of New Hampshire                                                 Durham NH             84.30
10. Colby College                                                                          Waterville ME          83.62

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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