The University of Colorado at Boulder has been ranked the second "greenest" school in the nation by Sierra magazine in its 2008 September/October edition.
CU-Boulder was by far the largest school in the top five, with more students than the other four schools combined. Middlebury College in Vermont was ranked first and the University of Vermont at Burlington, Warren Wilson College and Evergreen State College rounded out the top five.
The top schools earned points in ten categories including policies for building, energy, food, investment, procurement and transportation; curriculum; environmental activism; waste management; and overall commitment to sustainability.
"The University of Colorado at Boulder has played a formative and central role in global environmental research and sustainability for more than a generation," said G.P. "Bud" Peterson, chancellor of CU-Boulder. "Our students and faculty remain leaders today just as they were 30 years ago, and we are honored to be singled out for their vital and ongoing efforts."
CU-Boulder also was highlighted as a top school in three of the five "hot jobs to chill the planet" listed by Sierra magazine. CU-Boulder was lauded for programs leading to jobs as campus sustainability coordinators, outdoor education coordinators and environmental journalists. The only other school in the nation to be listed as a top school for three job categories was the University of California, Berkeley.
"Sierra is the largest circulation environmental magazine in the U.S. and they focused their formidable research capacity on evaluating campus sustainability," said Dave Newport, director of CU's Environmental Center. "To stand out in that context, especially alongside smaller, highly respected campuses with the ability to tailor their sustainability programs more narrowly, is an enormous tribute to the legacy of leadership CU students, faculty and staff have shown for nearly 40 years."
The other colleges and universities ranked in Sierra's second annual list of the top 10 "green" schools were Arizona State University at Tempe, University of Florida at Gainesville, Oberlin College, University of Washington at Seattle and Tufts University.
CU-Boulder's campus conservation and sustainability leadership stretches over four decades, dating to 1970, when the university established the first student-led environmental center. CU also started the nation's first collegiate student-led recycling program in 1976, and in 2000 CU became the first university in the country to purchase wind energy.
CU's most recent leadership accomplishment occurred only a few weeks ago with the Aug. 5 announcement of "Ralphie's Green Stampede" zero-waste and carbon reduction program at Folsom Field. The program's goal is to move toward zero-waste at Folsom Field during football season and invest in local carbon-reduction projects to match energy used to power the stadium, for team travel and other football-related energy use. University officials estimate the campus will recycle or compost at least 90 percent of the waste generated at Folsom Field this year.
On Aug. 22-23, CU-Boulder is hosting a symposium titled "Meeting the Global Energy and Climate Challenge." The free, public symposium will feature top national climate scientists, energy experts and environmental journalists discussing the science of climate change and the road toward a viable national energy strategy. A complete schedule is posted at www.colorado.edu/climatenergy/.
For more information about CU-Boulder's programs in climate change, renewable energy and campus sustainability visit www.colorado.edu/sustainability/. For more information on CU-Boulder's Environmental Center visit ecenter.colorado.edu/.