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Rankings Reveal Most Sustainable Campuses in the World

UConn's Laurel Hall, which recently received LEED Gold Certification, is one example of sustainability on campus. (FJ Gaylor/UConn Photo)

The University of Connecticut ranked at the top of a list of the most sustainable campuses in the world, according to results of the University of Indonesia’s GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities, released this month. Four other American universities ranked in the top 10: Northeastern University (Mass.); the University of California, Los Angeles; The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the University of California, Merced.

This is the third year UI has released the ranking, which is one of several sustainability rankings in higher education. It scores institutions’ efforts in categories including green statistics, energy and climate change, waste management, water usage, transportation, and energy. This year, the field included 215 universities from 49 countries that applied online, an increase from last year’s 178 universities from 42 countries.

At UConn, the GreenMetric score in the education category was more than double that of most of the other institutions and “clearly helped propel UConn to the top of the list,” shares Richard A. Miller, director of environmental policy at UConn. The institution hosts myriad sustainability events, including the inaugural week-long series of speakers and events known as CIMA (Climate Impact, Mitigation, and Adaptation) held last year. Other events include the Earth Day Spring Fling held each April, basketball “Green Game Days,” and the annual EcoMadness inter-dorm energy and water conservation competition.

The education score considers not only sustainability courses and funded research, but also related publications, websites, events, and student organizations.

“The resulting sets of rankings will, it is hoped, help promote awareness of the importance of sustainability and help to bring about change in the way we use energy, water and other resources,” University of Indonesia Rector Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri said in a letter calling for entries. “We believe that universities can provide an example by their actions to face global warming issues, by putting in place environmentally friendly policies, carbon management plan, energy management plan as well promoting reuse, reduce, recycle.”

GreenMetric Ranking Top 10:

  1. University of Connecticut
  2. University of Nottingham (U.K.)
  3. University College Cork National University of Ireland
  4. Northeastern University (Mass.)
  5. University of Plymouth (U.K.)
  6. Universite de Sherbrooke (Canada)
  7. University of California, Los Angeles
  8. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  9. University of Bath (U.K.)
  10. University of California, Merced

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