Going Green: The Top Eco-Friendly Colleges in the U.S.

The top eco-friendly colleges in the U.S. are ranked each year by the Sierra Club's official magazine. Schools are awarded points in a multitude of categories, with general areas that include energy, investments, innovation, food, water, and transportation. Learn which schools made the 2015 ranking list.

Sierra Club

Going Green with the Top Eco Friendly Colleges

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing the right college, like location, size, public vs. private or the availability of your chosen major. Also, today's students want to 'go green' by choosing a school that shares their commitment to eco-friendliness and sustainability. Read on to learn more about the universities that have emerged at the forefront of the green movement.

The 10 Greenest American Colleges in 2015

In 2015, the Sierra Club's Sierra Magazine released its annual Cool Schools list. The magazine sent surveys to sustainability experts at hundreds of schools, asking questions about energy, investments, waste management, academics, transportation, food, administration and purchasing. The colleges were graded in nearly 70 areas, totaling anywhere from seven to 45 points; these points accumulated into over 11 charted categories that total anywhere from 39 to 249 points. The final list includes 153 schools, ranked on a calibrated out-of-1000 point scale.

You can see the final rankings here. Read on to learn more about the top ten green schools on Sierra Magazine's list.

1. University of California, Irvine, in Irvine, CA

The top-ranking spot on the list was awarded to the University of California, Irvine. With a total score of 867.29, this university had perfect scores in investments, innovation, and planning. Out of a possible 249 points in energy, the University of California, Irvine, scored a 198.63.

2. University of California, Davis, in Davis, CA

The second spot was awarded to the University of California, Davis. This university had a perfect score in co-curricular activities, investments, innovation, and planing. The school had a total score of 787.46.

3. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, in Oshkosh, WI

In the number three spot, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh had a total score of 786.91. The university scored 200.88, out of a possible 249, in energy.

4. Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, CO

Coming in at number four was Colorado State University. The school had a total score of 782.90, with perfect scores in investments, planning and innovation.

5. Middlebury College, in Middlebury, VT

At number five, with a total score of 779.08, was Middlebury College. Located in Vermont, the school had perfect scores in co-curricular activities, innovation, planning, and water.

6. Oberlin College, in Oberlin, OH

Oberlin College ranked number six, with a total score of 775.95. The college had a strong energy score of 202.73, out of a possible 249. It also achieved perfect scores in innovation and planning.

7. University of California, San Diego, in San Diego, CA

UC San Diego came in at number seven, with a total score of 766.77. The university scored perfectly in co-curricular activities, investments, innovation, and planning. High scores were also awarded in water and waste management.

8. University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT

The University of Connecticut came in at number eight, with a total score of 766.30. Perfect scores were awarded to the school in investments, innovation, and planning. Comparatively, the school scored better than the previous universities in the food category.

9. Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, OR

Lewis & Clark College, located in Portland, Oregon, ranked number nine on the list. The college had a total score of 762.55. While the school was awarded an impressive score in waste management, its score in the category of water was a 62.60 out of a possible 95, the lowest from the top-ten schools in that category. It had perfect scores in planning, innovation and investments.

10. University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Rounding out the top-ten list is the University of Washington. The university achieved a total score of 761.70, with perfect scores in innovation and planning. Although the university also had a high scores in food and transportation, comparatively speaking, its second-lowest score in the category of water, at 62.77 points, contributed to reducing the university to the number ten spot on the list.

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