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University of Washington tops America's coolest schools

Mary Levin
Students Rachel Malinen, Brady Ryan, and Elizabeth Wheat tend to their cabbage crop at the University of Washington. Student activists created the Campus Sustainability Fund, which support projects that increase campus sustainability.

What’s the coolest university in America? According to Sierra Magazine, it’s the University of Washington.

The official publication of the Sierra Club has named the University of Washington the top university in the country for its initiatives to operate sustainably and limit its contributions to global warming.

“We take great pride in the leadership the university has shown in reducing our impact on the environment and operating as sustainably as we know how,” said UW President Michael Young.

Schools were ranked on ten factors: efficiency, energy, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments and other initiatives. The award includes all three UW campuses.

The university established a formal policy on environmental stewardship and has developed an ambitious Climate Action Plan, a document laying out the broad strategies the UW will use to become climate neutral.

Evergreen State College

Another school that is on Sierra Magazine’s top coolest universities is the Evergreen State College at ninth place.

“When students take what they’ve learned in the classroom and proceed to get their hands dirty in the real world, they realize the potential they have to make a difference. We’re thrilled to highlight these forward-thinking schools for emphasizing environmental responsibility, and for teaching, inspiring and empowering students to affect real change,” said Bob Sipchen, Sierra magazine editor-in-chief.

Sustainability initiatives at Evergreen include efforts to reduce waste, conserve energy, achieve climate neutrality, and various other ways of being sustainable.

Also on the list was Western Washington University in Bellingham at No. 14.

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