Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green School Buildings Health and Performance Benefits Part 2

Green schools are designed to use water efficiently, provide clean air and be well insulated. Green buildings are also designed to remain dry, comfortable and quiet.

Many green schools have visible features like more windows to let in natural light, but green schools also have less visible features like effective insulation that reduces condensation. By managing excessive moisture green schools have reduced asthma and respiratory disease in schoolchildren.

Vivian Loftness is a professor of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Green Building Council. In an article titled "Growing Green Schools," Loftness references a 2002 study of 32 schools in Finland, where researchers identified an average 15 percent reduction in the prevalence of the common cold in school buildings that had no moisture or mold problems as compared with moisture or mold-damaged schools.

Loftness points to research that shows that managing noise in classrooms improves student learning and the development of language skills, as well as protecting teachers' vocal cords. In a 2002 study of 10 preschools, researchers in Stockholm found an 11 percent reduction in vocal strain among teachers in quiet classrooms (with background noise levels of about 55 decibels) as compared with those in noisy classrooms (at a surprisingly common 75 decibels).

Loftness also points out that thermal comfort has a measured impact on student achievement and pest-control measures to help control indoor pollutants have been associated with reduced levels of respiratory disease.

The combination of elements that go into a green school create a healthier environment that promotes learning. The environmental benefits of green buildings are already clear, but increasingly people are seeking the health and performance benefits of green schools.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Green School Buildings Health and Performance Benefits Part 1

Whether new or retrofits, green schools are on the increase. Green schools offer a wide range of advantages. Perhaps most importantly, they reduce a school's environmental footprint, while improving health and learning.

Through things like good ventilation and reduced noise, green buildings are able to improve test scores while reducing absenteeism, asthma and allergies. A report titled, "Review and Assessment of the Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Schools," concluded that a number of green-school attributes are vital to health and learning.

Green schools are not only healthier for people and the planet, they are good for the bottom line. According to a study titled "Green Building Costs and Financial Benefits," by author Gregory Kats, green buildings cost less than 2 percent more than conventional buildings but provide 20 times the financial benefits. The 2003 study compared 33 green buildings across the US to buildings using conventional designs and found reductions of energy and water consumption of about one third.

Schools are making changes from coast to coast. These changes involve a varying array of initiatives and include everything from energy and water conservation to diffusers that spread natural light evenly throughout a classroom.

Green schools are on the crest of a wave that is revolutionizing building design. Green schools are giving us a glimpse into the future of building construction.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

CleanEdison's Green Building & Design Courses

Increasing environmental concerns, interest in healthier structures, and increasing regulation from the permitting authorities, are driving the proliferation of green building educational programs.

Green design and building courses are offered in class and online at CleanEdison. They also offer several LEED programs at training centers throughout the US. The green building courses they offer include geothermal, solar, and sustainable design.

Residential Green Building: Design, Construction, and Accreditation is a four hour interactive online course that starts by debunking many green building myths and then moves into a comprehensive discussion of its elements. The course takes a close look at green building in relation to many aspects of design and construction including issues dealing with sites, landscaping, foundations, frames, exterior finishes, plumbing, appliances, insulation, ventilation, windows, finishes, and flooring. The course wraps up with information on testing, certification, and accreditation, including a look at the LEED program and the NAHB Green Home Certification Program.

This course covers green building principles and practices, green energy management and optimization, sustainable concepts design concepts, green building design principles, green construction techniques, and certification options. To see more information on this and other distance learning courses go to CleanEdison - Online.

Clean Edison is the leading provider of LEED education programs and exam preparation training. LEED provides standards for environmentally sustainable green building practices and construction. LEED accredited professionals increase their marketability in green building design and business sustainability. CleanEdison's LEED Green Associate exam prep includes a complete review of the LEED rating system and proven strategies for taking and passing the exam.

CleanEdison offers an expedient starting point for those who wish to become green energy consultants. CleanEdison's LEED Green Associate intensive course is one of the fastest ways to prepare you for the Green Associate exam. In just one day instructors review the credit rating system, the general guidelines for that system, and various tips and tricks for passing the exam. To see more information go to Leed Green Associate Training.

CleanEdison is part of the USGBC's Education Provider Program and an approved BPI Affiliate. For more information go to CleanEdison.
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The Implications of the Growth of Green Buildings


This video by the Washington State Department of Ecology provides a good overview of the effects of green building.

Despite the tough economic times, a 2009 survey conducted by National Real Estate Investor in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council showed that sustainability in commercial real estate grew at a prodigious rate.

More than 88% of developers and 86% of corporate executives say they consider green design to be as or more important than it was before the current economic slump. In fact, LEED certified projects showed an impressive 47% increase over the previous 12 month period.

These buildings represent 273 million square feet of new construction and major renovation on commercial and institutional properties, up from 133 million square feet the previous year. Another 25,608 properties totaling approximately 6.3 billion square feet are currently registered with the LEED, up from 1.3 billion square feet last year.

Green buildings are an increasingly powerful economic driver. By 2013, the green building industry is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.

Compared to conventional buildings, green buildings involve significant changes in design, construction, operation and maintenance. These changes have far reaching implications that help reduce environmental degradation and provide green jobs.
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Top 10 Green Building Trends for 2010

Green buildings are more energy efficient and provide greater value then traditional homes. The appeal of sustainable housing was highlighted in the 2009 McGraw Hill Construction report on the Green Home Consumer, which shows that green homes are generally secure from price erosion. Although 2009 was a slow year, green building bucked the trend by posting substantial growth.

At the beginning of the year, the Earth Advantage Institute, a leading nonprofit green building resource that has certified more than 11,000 sustainable homes, published its top ten green building trends in 2010.

1. Custom and web-based display panels that show real-time home energy use, and even real-time energy use by individual appliances.

2. More accurate energy rating systems for homes and office spaces has caught the attention of energy agencies and legislators around the country.

3. Building information modeling (BIM) software, (the continued evolution of CAD software for building design) has produced new add-on tools with increasingly accurate algorithms for energy modeling as well as embedded energy properties for many materials and features. This will prove instrumental in predicting building performance. BIM developers will soon be offering more affordable packages aimed at smaller firms and individual builders.

4. Lenders and insurers have come to see green homes and buildings as better for their bottom line and are working to get new reduced-rate loan products, insurance packages, and metrics into place. Lenders and insurers are realizing green home and building owners are more responsible, place higher value on maintenance and lower operating costs, and are less likely to default.

5. "Rightsizing" of homes due to the understanding that a larger home no longer translates into greater equity. Energy prices are expected to rise over time and this makes smaller more energy efficient homes a better value.

6. Eco-districts that encourage the creation of low-impact communities where residents have access to most services and supplies within walking or biking distance.

7. Water conservation to reduce residential water use which accounts for more than half of the publicly supplied water in the US. The EPA's voluntary WaterSense specification for new homes reduces water use by about 20 percent compared to a conventional new home. Water is an essential resource and water scarcity is a growing problem.

8. Documenting, measuring, and reducing greenhouse gas creation in building materials and processes. Carbon Calculation for buildings that can help homeowners reduce their carbon emissions (homes account for approximately half of the carbon emitted into the atmosphere).

9. Net zero buildings generate more energy than it uses over the course of a year, as a result of relatively small size, extreme efficiencies and onsite renewable energy sources.

10. Sustainable building education will supply new learning opportunities, not just for designers and builders, but for the entire chain of professionals involved in the building industry, from real estate to finance, and insurance.
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The Green Building Focus Conference and Expo

Education was the focus of the 2010 Green Building Focus Conference and Expo. The event was a showcase for the latest in sustainable building development.

The Green Building Focus was held between August 24th and 27th, and hosted by the city of Birmingham, Alabama. The city of Birmingham is the largest construction hub in the Southeast, and it is quickly becoming the region’s hub for green building activity as well.

With the growing demand for green building, this year’s conference sought to inform and educate the region’s architects, engineers, home owners, construction professionals, faculty and students.

The Green Building Focus explored recent trends, technologies and materials available in the green building movement. The conference also addressed topics including, “The Greening of Corporate America,” “Private and Federal Incentives for Green Projects,” and “International Green Construction Code.”

There were workshops and a business expo with more than 150 vendors showcasing environmentally friendly products and services and featuring some of the world's leading authorities on sustainable development.

Speakers included Karan Grover, an internationally acclaimed architect and winner of the 2004 USGBC platinum award for greenest building on Earth. Another conference speaker, Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos said, "It takes leadership from the top all the way down to the public buying into it."

Despite the challenges reviewed by Mayor Petelos, the Green Building Focus was a window into the innovations that are driving the growth of green homes.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Commonground University's Online Environmental Classes

Many busy professionals would like to increase their knowledge and skills but it is sometimes hard to find the time. For those who would rather not commit to pursuing a degree, taking courses online affords a certain flexibility with a limited investment of time, making it easier to manage a busy schedule.

Here are a couple examples of environmentally oriented online courses offered by Commonground University.

ASTM E1527 Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
This is the online version of ASTM's popular in-person course. The course is facilitated by the same ASTM instructors who have trained thousands of environmental professionals. Learn why the ASTM Environmental Site Assessment Standard Practices for the Phase I Site Assessment was developed, how to use the standard, and how the standard affects the way you do business. You will gain an understanding of the "Innocent Landowner Defense" under the CERCLA, and why due diligence is necessary. The course reflects the ASTM E1527-05 standard and discusses EPA's AAI rule.

Environmental Due Diligence: Principles & Practices
This course will help you handle the broad range of issues that arise when performing any type of environmental due diligence. You will learn the most current procedures for conducting investigations and acquire skills for interpreting and communicating your findings. Also, you will learn best practices from sharing insights and experiences with peers and experts in interactive forums. By taking this course, you will be up-to-date on current trends in environmental due diligence.

For more information go to the Commonground University site.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Walden University's PhD in Sustainability Online Degree

Walden University is now offering the nation's first online PhD program in Public Policy & Sustainability. Walden is an accredited online university, Walden first served the unique needs of working doctoral students four decades ago. Today, they offer more than 10 online doctoral programs with more than 60 specializations.

The Public Policy & Sustainability specialization explores ways of creating and maintaining sustainable communities that are environmentally sound, economically prosperous, and socially equitable. It also explores the interrelated elements that make a community viable and access the tools and resources for sustainable community development.

This degree prepares students for roles such as a town manager, department head, or director of a social service organization. Traditional graduate degree programs related to sustainability are increasing, and their online counterpart is slowly following.

Walden`s doctoral experience features a unique blend of theory, research, and practical application. For working professionals, online programs offer greater flexibility when juggling a busy schedule. With the exception of regular classrooms or face-to-face meetings, online PhD programs are no different from their traditional counterparts.

The online PhD experience can take anywhere from four to six years to complete, as the process entails at least a year and a half of intense studies, directed by a panel of three to five professors who then administer oral or written exams.

The dissertation, or thesis, is a detailed investigation into a very specific aspect of the student’s chosen field. Once the thesis has been defended successfully, it must be filed with the university before the title of "doctor" can be awarded.

See the Walden site for more information or contact a Walden enrollment advisor.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

UBC`s PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies

The University of British Columbia (UBC), offers a Resource Management and Environmental Studies (RMES) interdisciplinary graduate program at the Institute for Resource Environment and Sustainability (IRES). Amongst its many graduate degrees, IRES offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program.

The academic program is flexible and, to a large extent, tailored to the educational goals of the student. A thesis proposal/statement of intent is required at the time of formal application to the program in order to facilitate the selection of an appropriate supervisor, supervisory committee and individual academic direction. The RMES program draws from faculty members' expertise from across the University.

The RMES program's research activities address a range of topics related to land management, environmental assessment, policy analysis, coastal zone management, fisheries management, agroforestry, water resource management, hydrology, energy, negotiation issues, risk perception and assessment, issues of governance, science and policy, and community development.

The program's aim is to integrate the socioeconomic (political) and biophysical (ecological) approaches to resource and environmental issues. To achieve these aims, workshops and seminars are common academic formats.

RMES welcomes applications from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

See IRES : Academic Programs
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Prescott College`s PhD in Sustainability

Prescott College offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education with a concentration in Sustainability. Sustainability Education focuses on global citizenship and promotes environmental responsibility.

This four-year program combines expansive interdisciplinary inquiry with intense individual research and practice. The Prescott College PhD Program provides opportunities for collaboration, interdisciplinary learning, presentation, research, and teaching about topics and issues related to the doctoral student's programs of study.

This highly selective, innovative and forward-thinking program is primarily designed for adults with at least three years of relevant professional work experience. The program aims to foster an informed, involved citizenry with the necessary social and scientific literacy, commitment and creative problem-solving skills to engage in responsible, cooperative action towards a sustainable future.

Prospective doctoral students should have significant experience in their proposed individual focus areas. This life and work experience may include educational administration, teaching, research, writing, consulting, business, communications, community development, advocacy, public relations, policy development and analysis, politics, or any number of other possibilities.

Education for sustainability is a life-long, individual, and social learning progression that challenges the dominant ecological, psychological, economic and social paradigms.

The desired outcome is an informed, involved citizenry with the social and scientific literacy, commitment, and creative problem-solving skills to engage in responsible individual and cooperative actions toward a sustainable society. Achieving sustainability in all dimensions of human existence depends on adopting an educational paradigm that manifests and supports change toward a sustainable, secure society. The PhD Program strives to contribute to synergistic learning and change in consciousness, education, culture, and ultimately, society.

Within the central theme of sustainability education, students create individualized proposals for formal coursework and a practicum based on an educational vision. Finally, PhD students undertake an action-oriented dissertation, demonstrating passionate scholarship in the sustainability education niche.

See Program Details.
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PhD in Innovation and Governance for Sustainable Development

The PhD in Innovation and Governance for Sustainable Development at the University of Twente takes four years to complete. The program consists of individual scientific research, individual supervision, and—for internal PhD researchers—some class work. The program ends with the defense of the doctoral thesis. Successful completion of the course is rewarded with the title of Doctor of the University of Twente.

The Twente Centre for Studies in Technology and Sustainable Development (CSTM) was established in 1988. The CSTM offers three types of PhD positions, research, Open PhD Programme – Internal and Open PhD programme – External /Sandwich.

The CSTM specialize in governance questions, emphasizing sustainable development, environmental quality, and technological innovation - from both developed and developing country perspectives. See a brief outline of their research program on their website pages under 'Research'. All PhD projects need to contribute to this research program.

Candidates require the minimum of a Master’s degree in a subject which is relevant to the proposed research. This could be one of the social sciences, such as international relations, political science, anthropology, social geography, or in more technical topics, such as environmental science, sustainable energy, civil engineering and management, water resource management, land and water use, forest and nature conservation.

For more information or to see application details go to the University of Twente.
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Columbia University's PhD in Sustainable Development

A PhD in Sustainable Development is offered by Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Many of the most important policy issues facing the planet today require a central focus on the sustainability of development. These include the causes and consequences of long-term climate change.

There is substantial and growing demand for PhDs with a broad social science education, strong research skills, and knowledge of the natural sciences. The new interdisciplinary PhD in Sustainable Development is designed to educate researchers, university teachers, and global policymakers in the social science and natural science disciplines that underpin sustainable development.

The purpose of the PhD in Sustainable Development is to create a generation of scholars and professionals equipped to deal with some of the most crucial problems in the world today. By combining elements of a traditional graduate education in social science, particularly economics, with a significant component of training in the natural sciences, the program's graduates will be uniquely situated to undertake serious research and policy assessments with the goal of sustainable development.

There are a wide variety of potential employers for the program's graduates. Graduates will find academic jobs in the standard social science disciplines, in policy schools, and in undergraduate and graduate environmental science programs. Many will choose nonacademic positions, however, taking leadership roles in government ministries in the United States and throughout the world, working on environmental protection and sustainable development programs; or in international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank; in private firms engaged in large-scale development projects; or in consulting firms analyzing development issues for private and public clients.

For additional information see FAQ. Any additional questions about the program can be e-mailed to the assistant dean at sipa_phd@columbia.edu, or go to degree requirements.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Leading the Green Job Market with a Sustainable MBA

A sustainable MBA, also known as a green MBA, enhances an individual's marketability and maximizes remuneration potential. A green MBA program addresses environmental and social sustainability, as they relate to the traditional subjects of finance, management, economics, and business ethics.

There is growing demand for well-trained green oriented individuals, particularly at the leadership level and studies indicate that well-paying green jobs are on the rise. With the increasing demand for qualified professionals and millions of new green jobs being projected, there is a noticeable absence of qualified leaders in the green jobs market.

The green market is an awe inspiring opportunity. Energy alone represents a multi-trillion dollar global market. Yet specialized skill sets are required to capitalize on these opportunities.

To lead a business that is both profitable and sustainable, executives, consultants, and entrepreneurs need the right tools, training, and skills. These skills include business strategy, performance, marketing, branding and finance. A sustainable MBA provides the essential skills required for graduates to help lead the transition to a sustainable economy.

A sustainable MBA provides people with the skills that are much in demand and this affords the freedom to consider diverse career opportunities. According to a 2009 report from Net Impact, the number of publicly advertised Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) jobs has gone up by 37 percent since 2004. This reflects a growing demand for managers and senior executives knowledgeable about issues like sustainability, leaders who can show initiative and create new profit centers.

The demand for green business leadership will keep growing. A sustainable MBA program can launch careers and position people to take advantage of one of the greatest opportunities our economy has ever known. A sustainable MBA is for those who want to position themselves as the business leaders of tomorrow.

In the future there will no longer be a need to designate an MBA as green because sustainability will be incorporated into all MBA programs. Until then, these degrees are the keys to business leadership in the new green economy.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

For more than five years, the UN has been behind efforts to broaden sustainable development education initiatives around the world.

Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising those of future generations. This simple definition encompasses a complex dynamic that implicates values and value systems as well as interdisciplinary knowledge and experience, and stresses the interdependence of the environment, society and the economy.

In December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 57/254 to put in place the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), spanning the years 2005 to 2014. UNESCO was designated as the lead agency for the Decade.

The overall goal of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is the integration of the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.

The Decade’s four key objectives are facilitating networking and collaboration among stakeholders in ESD; fostering greater quality of teaching and learning in ESD; supporting countries in achieving their millennium development goals through ESD efforts; providing countries with new opportunities and tools to incorporate ESD in education reform efforts.

The role of the ESD is to help people develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and for the future, and to act upon those decisions.

ESD is an approach to teaching and learning based on the ideals and principles that underlie sustainability – human rights, poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods, peace, environmental protection, democracy, health, biological and landscape diversity, climate change, gender equality, and protection of indigenous cultures.

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development – Moving into the Second Half of the UN Decade took place in Bonn, Germany from March 31 to April 2, 2009. The Conference was a forum for sharing experiences and best practices, bringing together close to 700 participants representing UNESCO Member States, UN agencies, civil society organizations, youth, and the private sector.

UNESCO’s major areas of activity under the DESD include education, natural and social sciences, culture, and communication.

UNESCO believes that education is a human right and the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development. To implement education for sustainable development, UNESCO seeks to promote and improve basic education, reorient existing education programs at all levels to address sustainable development, develop public awareness and understanding of sustainability, and provide training.

UNESCO's goal is to promote multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches for the wise use of natural resources and to improve the understanding of human–environment relationships, as well as to promote principles, policies, and ethical norms to guide scientific and technological development that is sustainable.

Culture is also important to UNESCO because it is concerned with the identities and values that shape the way people live, their responsiveness to educational programs, and the degree to which they feel involved in preserving for the future. UNESCO encourages an approach to sustainable development in which people are addressed with a discourse linked to their immediate concerns.

UNESCO acknowledges that communication is virtually instantaneous and this serves as a powerful driver of social transformation. In this context, UNESCO acts as a broker for effective sustainable development by encouraging the sharing of knowledge, information, expertise and best practices, producing and disseminating scientific knowledge, and sensitizing the media to sustainable development issues.

The UN effort to implement education for sustainable development is a long-term process that calls upon all stakeholders, including governments, educational institutions, business and industry, communities, civil society, and individuals to play a role and to embrace the ideas of sustainable development.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sustainable Education is Key to Accessing the Green Economy

High unemployment rates and the rising cost of college are causing many students to seek a college education that offers marketable skills.

Education is an increasingly crucial component of preparing a prospective workforce for the new economy. From preschool to post graduate studies, education supplies us with the tools we require to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

In the US, there were 76 million children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in 2007, comprising 27 percent of the entire population 3 and older.

In 2007, almost half of all college students were 18 and 19 years of age, however with 15 percent of all college students 35 and older, higher education is not only for the young. The older age group made up 36 percent of those attending school part time.

Recent university attendance numbers show an increasing number of people are enrolling in school for advanced degrees or specialty training. The projected number of students enrolled in US colleges and universities for fall 2010 is 19 million, up from 13.5 million 20 years ago.

With many losing their jobs or having trouble finding employment going back to school is a logical way to upgrade skills.

A new trend study from the University of California San Diego Extension reveals that sustainability is one of the hottest career options for college graduates in this challenging economy. Sustainable education aims to help people to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and in the future, and to act upon these decisions.

By the mid-21st century, all jobs will be sustainable jobs. Organizations must prepare themselves for inevitable legislative and regulatory changes, some of which are already well underway. We know that the future will be much greener than it is today and increasingly diverse sectors are looking for business growth opportunities in the area of sustainability. People who understand these challenges will be well positioned to benefit.

In the new era of environmental economics, sustainable jobs will be in high demand and have unparalleled growth opportunities.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sierra's Top 100 Cool Schools

Sierra's fourth annual Coolest Schools survey was sent to 900 colleges and universities across the United States. A total of 162 schools responded to the questionnaire and detailed their sustainability efforts.

This year, after consulting the Club's conservation experts, Sierra shifted the weighting of its survey question. The new ranking system now gives more weight to each school's energy supply. That adjustment caused a significant reorganization of the schools in the list compared to last year.

Although energy supply carried the most significance, nine other categories were considered in measuring a school's commitment to sustainability: efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments, and a catchall section titled "other initiatives." No school scored a perfect 100; Green Mountain came closest, with 88.6.

1. Green Mountain College (Poultney, VT) Score: 88.6
GMC excels in most categories, and it's the MVP when it comes to creativity. The campus gets power and heat from biomass and biogas and plans to be carbon-neutral by next year.

2. Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) Score: 86.1
Dickinson integrates sustainability studies across its curricula, maintains a high-efficiency energy plant, and runs a hands-on biodiesel shop.

3. Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) Score: 85.9
The student body's self-imposed clean-energy fee enables Evergreen to purchase renewable-energy credits for 100 percent of its electricity.

4. University of Washington (Seattle, WA) Score: 84.7
UW's annual solutions-oriented Environmental Innovation Challenge, which teams students from disparate departments, represents interdisciplinary eco-thinking at its best.

5. Stanford University (Stanford, CA) Score: 84.6
Stanford's $225 million Global Climate and Energy Project focuses on diverse cutting-edge technologies to help lower carbon dioxide emissions.

6. University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA) Score: 84.4
Incentives for alternative transportation minimize car commuting to UCI, even though it's in SUV-obsessed Orange County.

7. Northland College (Ashland, WI) Score: 84.2
Northland's 12-year-old, pre-LEED McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center has composting toilets, low-flow water fixtures, solar panels, and a wind turbine.

8. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) Score: 82.8
America's oldest college invests in the future with a revolving fund that loans money for recycling and solar projects. Payback comes in the form of efficiency savings.

9. College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME) Score: 82.5
A sustainable-business curriculum and an affiliated "venture incubator" encourage eco-entrepreneurs.

10. Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) Score: 82.4
Hampshire's responsible-investing committee, one of the oldest in the country, aims to make the school's endowment benefit the environment.

11. [Tie] University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA) Score: 82
The UCSC Banana Slugs have an impressive 73 percent waste-diversion rate and plan to reach 100 percent by 2020.

11. [Tie] Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT) Score: 82
A team of ambitious undergrads made the finals of the prestigious, tech-heavy 2011 Solar Decathlon, a notable feat for a small liberal-arts school.

13. University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, CO) Score: 81.9
A national environmental leader, CU Boulder is the home of the influential Center of the American West, a think tank that addresses Western land and energy issues.

14. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, NC) Score: 81.8
Warren Wilson gets more than a third of its food from farms within 500 miles of campus--including from its own six-acre organic garden.

15. University of California, San Diego (San Diego, CA) Score: 81.6
UCSD's dining halls offer "Meatless Mondays" to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. No matter what day it is, 35 percent of the school's cafeteria food is organic.

16. [TIE] University of California, Davis (Davis, CA) Score: 81.2
Davis students can learn ecologically viable farming methods by majoring in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

16. [TIE] University of Vermont (Burlington, VT) Score: 81.2
Over the past decade, UVM has cut its number of car commuters by half, thanks to incentives for students who use alternative transportation.

18. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) Score: 80.7
By awarding grants to faculty and students for innovative sustainability proposals, Penn spurs competition to help execute its climate action plan.

19. New York University (New York, NY) Score: 80.6
NYU plans to install a 6,500-square-foot green roof atop its 11-story Stern School of Business, in Greenwich Village.

20. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) Score: 80.5
Georgia Tech has a full-time alternative-transportation manager and is constructing a million-gallon cistern to reduce its stormwater runoff by 30 percent.

21. Cornell University
22. Colorado College
23. Oberlin College
23. Oregon State University
25. UCLA
26. Yale University
27. Portland State University
28. Princeton University
29. Furman University
30. Smith College
31. Pomona College
32. UC Berkeley
33. University of New Hampshire
34. Arizona State University
35. Marlboro College
36. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
37. Brown University
38. Macalester College
39. UC Merced
40. UNC-Chapel Hill
41. Colorado State University
42. Emory University
43. Washington University in St. Louis
44. UC Santa Barbara
45. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
46. Bowdoin College
47. University of Michigan
48. Western Washington University
49. Boston University
50. University of Connecticut
51. Wellesley College
52. Willamette University
53. Villanova University
54. Duke University
55. Pacific Lutheran University
56. University of Louisville
57. DePaul University
58. George Washington University
59. Naropa University
60. Seattle University
61. Williams College
62. Northern Arizona University
63. Bard College
64. Carnegie Mellon University
65. Sterling College
66. Dartmouth College
67. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
68. State University of New York At Binghamton
69. University of La Verne
70. San Francisco State University
71. Colby College
72. Case Western Reserve University
73. Point Loma Nazarene University
74. Western State College of Colorado
75. Rochester Institute of Technology
76. Whitman College
77. Lewis & Clark College
78. Swarthmore College
79. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
80. Humboldt State University
81. Drexel University
82. University of Florida
83. Mills College
84. Elon University
85. Hamilton College
86. University of Idaho
87. Amherst College
88. Metropolitan State College of Denver
89. Central Michigan University
90. Hobart & William Smith Colleges
91. Allegheny College
92. University of Missouri-Kansas City
93. Appalachian State University
94. University of Georgia
95. Bentley University
96. Southern Oregon University
97. Knox College
98. Montclair State University
99. Augsburg College
100. University of San Diego

To see of a list of all 162 schools go to Sierra's Cool School Rankings.
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