The University of New Hampshire is the second coolest school according to the Sierra Club’s 2018 Cool Schools list.

August 24, 2018

Written By: Colleen Flaherty, Communications Coordinator

The University of New Hampshire is the second coolest school according to the Sierra Club’s 2018 Cool Schools list. This ranking recognizes UNH’s national leadership in sustainability and commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues, and encouraging environmental responsibility.

“Since arriving at UNH, it is clear to me that the UNH community is deeply committed to sustainability,” said UNH President James Dean. “We have been engaged in sustainability and leading efforts for a very long time. It is exciting to have our campus-wide commitment and engagement around sustainability be recognized by the Sierra Club.”

UNH took a big jump in the Sierra Club standings: up from 21 in 2017 to 2 in the 2018 Cool Schools rankings.

To create the list, Sierra Club ranked 269 schools based on comprehensive criteria such as environmentally-focused curriculum, campus activism, on-campus recycling and waste management, and planning and administrative standards.

Some highlights of UNH’s sustainability achievements include:

  • Main campus is powered 100 percent by renewable energy
  • Largest public transit provider in New Hampshire
  • Home to the first organic dairy research farm in the nation
  • Composts 25,000 pounds of dining hall food waste a month
  • Ranked second in North America for the study of ecology

In addition to the Cool Schools rating, UNH is one of a handful of schools to achieve a STARS Platinum rating --the highest possible--in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. To learn more about sustainability at UNH, the STARS report is publicly available.

“We are very proud of our students, faculty, and staff who have shown tremendous passion and leadership in sustainability,” said Tom Kelly, executive director of the UNH Sustainability Institute. “They are able to connect knowledge to action in our sustainable learning community. Having the Sierra Club commend our shared values, collaboration, and creativity is cause for celebration. We will continue to nurture and support sustainability at UNH.” 

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