SRU earns fourth consecutive “Cool School” Sierra Club ranking


ATS Building

Sept. 10, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — For the fourth straight year, 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 "Cool Schools" in North America.

SRU, which came in at No. 152 out of the 282 institutions evaluated, was joined on the list by one other university from Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, West Chester, which finished 260th on the Sierra Club's list of 2019's greenest universities.

Participation in the Sierra Club's 13th annual ranking was open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada along with two-year community colleges. Between the two countries, nearly 6,000 institutions were eligible for participation.

Scores were based on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System reports created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Any valid STARS report from the last three years was eligible for the rankings.

Sierra Club logo

To participate in the 2019 rankings, institutions needed to:
• Have a valid STARS 2.0 or 2.1 rating (i.e., Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum; unscored reports with a STARS Reporter designation were not sufficient).
• Have earned that rating within the three years prior to the deadline (i.e., submitted after March 3, 2016). STARS ratings that were more than three years old were not considered for the Cool Schools ranking.
• Opt in to sharing data with Sierra.

SRU scored highest in the categories of energy and waste minimization and is widely recognized for its commitment to the environment and being at the forefront of meeting sustainability goals. The University has a Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2037.

The Rock has been recognized in The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges; as a top 100 school in the University of Indonesia's International Green Metric Survey; as the first four-year college in Pennsylvania to be named a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education; and with a Silver Rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

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.

To view the complete rankings, click here.

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