The University of Louisville ranked 74th out of 173 schools on Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools 2014 evaluation, scoring 614.23 points out of a possible 1000. The top-rated university scored 813.51 points with nearly 70 different criteria being analyzed that included investigation into sustainable programs such as educational offerings; facility design and usage; tree canopy; economic impact; sustainable investments and innovations; purchasing policies; transportation and campus fleet offerings; organic foods and composting capabilities; waste/materials recovery, and others.
The United States has more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities and participation in Sierra magazine‘s Cool Schools ranking is open to all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. The effort aims to act as a guide for prospective students who seek a way to compare colleges based on the schools’ commitment to sustainability. It also serves to spur competition, create aspirational standards, and publicly reward the institutions that work hard to protect the planet.
The survey, officially called the Campus Sustainability Data Collector, is the result of the collaborative efforts of four organizations: the Sierra Club, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI), and the Princeton Review. The resultant Cool Schools ranking is an index that provides fair, comparative information about the most important elements of campus sustainability. Its results suggest that while many universities are making admirable progress, no school has yet attained complete sustainability.
For a the complete ranking and to read UofL’s complete 242 page response, go to the Sierra Club’s website. Justin Mog, the Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives at University of Louisville, who himself uses a bicycle as his primary mode of transportation, remarked “It’s definitely a lot of work to stay on top of all the many things going on at UofL and to document and report them is a full-time job in and of itself.” The LSC’s Green Economy Action Team has posted the sections of UofL’s response that addressed ‘Outreach’ and ‘Public Engagement’ under the Resources tab on our Action Team page because they list so many of the way’s the University of Louisville supports our sustainable action community. Way to go UofL!