SRU named a “Cool School” by the Sierra Club


planting in the macoskey center gardens

August 30, 2016

sierra club logo

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Sierra Club, one of the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the U.S., has named Slippery Rock University among its Top 125 "Cool Schools."

SRU was the only institution from Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education to make the Sierra Club's list as one of 2016's greenest universities.

"Our commitment to environmental sustainability is at the very core of what we do each day at SRU," said President Cheryl Norton. "Our staff, faculty and students continue to seek out new opportunities to protect the environment through deliberate and thoughtful policies, actions and efforts that serve to improve our sense of ecological and social responsibility."

Schools were ranked on their dedication to greening at every level of their operation from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum. Scores were based on a 1,000-point scale. SRU scored highest in the planning category, capturing 89 percent of the available points thanks in part to the President's Commission on Sustainability. The commission, which includes a cross section of representatives from many University constituencies, advises the president on recommended sustainability initiatives, strategies and policies.

The "Cool Schools" ranking is an index that provides comparative information about the most important elements of campus sustainability. Sierra's researchers evaluate schools' survey responses via a scoring key developed to emphasize the Sierra Club's environmental priorities. The ranking's aim is to act as a guide for prospective students who seek a way to compare colleges based on the schools' commitment to environmentalism. It also serves to spur competition, raise eco-standards on campus and publicly reward the institutions that work hard to protect the planet.

Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club boasts more than two million members and supporters. Its successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

The Sierra Club award comes on the heels of SRU being named as a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Postsecondary Sustainability Award winner earlier this year. SRU, which was nominated for the honor by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, was the only institution of higher education in the state to be recommended for the postsecondary sustainability award.

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