Published September 11, 2017
UB moved up five spots on Sierra Club magazine’s “Cool Schools” ranking for 2017. The university landed at No. 52, up from 57 last fall, on the environmental group’s annual list of schools that are ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability.
More than 220 four-year undergraduate colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada were eligible for the rankings after completing detailed questionnaires.
Each school received a score based on performance across a range of categories, including energy usage, innovation, purchasing and transportation. Sierra Club collaborated with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to gather the raw data for its rankings.
UB, which scored 607.60 points out of a possible 1,000, was one of only two SUNY schools among the top 55. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry was No. 4 on the list. College of the Atlantic came in at No. 1.
The scoring system used reflects the broader priorities of the Sierra Club. For example, the organization awarded a significant percentage of points in the areas of campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel divestment because it believes that progress in these sectors is essential for addressing the climate crisis, according to an FAQ on the Cool Schools website.
The rankings are compiled to serve as a guide for prospective students, current students, administrators and alumni to compare colleges’ commitments to environmentalism.
The full list is available on the Sierra Club’s website.