Four Oregon universities make climate-friendly ranking

University of Oregon was the state's highest-ranking university on a list of

University of Oregon was the state's highest-ranking university on a list of "Cool Schools," deemed by the Sierra Club and its partners as the most climate-friendly institutions.

Sierra Club's Sierra magazine calls them "Cool Schools."

This year, four Oregon universities made the ranking, which highlights accredited institutions with across-the-board efforts in sustainability.

The list was compiled from lengthy surveys completed by 96 universities. The survey gathered data on factors including transportation, food sourcing, waste handling, curriculum, energy efficiency and other factors.

Oregon's top finisher was University of Oregon, which was ranked No. 13 in the nation with especially high marks receive for planning and innovation.

"This year we focused on more robust data collection to better capture what faculty, staff and students are doing," said Steve Mital, the UO's sustainability director. "Recent additions to our green inventory include the new sustainability residence hall which opens this fall, our new green building policy and a graduate certificate program in sustainability leadership."

Other Oregon schools making the list include:

  • Lewis and Clark College, which ranked No. 22 with strong marks for making environmentally friendly investments.
  • Portland State University, which ranked No. 28 with strong marks for innovation.
  • Southern Oregon University, which ranked No. 45 with strong marks in energy and planning.


It's the sixth annual ranking of schools based on this set of sustainability criteria. Sierra Club partners with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Sustainable Endowments Institute and the Princeton Review to put together the list.

The top 10 universities on the ranking include:

  1. University of California, Davis
  2. Georgia Institute of Technology
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of Washington, Seattle
  5. University of Connecticut
  6. University of New Hampshire
  7. Duke University
  8. Yale University
  9. University of California, Irvine
  10. Appalachian State University

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