By Hannah Esrock–
The University of Louisville has once again been named one of America’s greenest higher education institutions.
For the eighth consecutive year, U of L has landed in the top 100 in the Sierra Club Cool Schools rankings. The 2016 list, released Sept. 6, ranks U of L at No. 42, jumping almost 30 spots since last year.
Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives, said the scoring was based on U of L’s latest rating in the national Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). Earlier this year, U of L became the first college in Kentucky to achieve a gold STARS rating. STARS tracks progress in the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability.
For the 2016 Cool Schools list, U of L scored more than 622 points out of 1,000 in the annual ranking published by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is the oldest grassroots environmental group in the United States. The list is compiled based on data about a school’s sustainability initiatives in co-curricular education, energy, investments, food, innovation, academics, planning, purchasing, transportation, waste and water.
“What’s so exciting about this is not just that we’re doing one thing right, but that we are addressing sustainability across the board,” Mog said.
“I have been impressed with how far Louisville as a city has come in terms of sustainability, and the University of Louisville has led the way,” said Betsy Ruhe, one of the first students enrolled in U of L’s new interdisciplinary master’s degree program with a sustainability concentration.
“If it hadn’t been for the students and faculty pushing for change, none of this progress – and the recognition that has followed – would have been possible. To rank in the top 50 is quite an accomplishment and reflects the commitment of all at U of L to become a leader in sustainability education for the 21st century.”