SRU is again named a ‘Cool School’ by the Sierra Club


Old Main and the fall colors

For a fifth straight year, Slippery Rock University was named to the Sierra Club’s Cool School rankings, which evaluates colleges and universities in North America for campus sustainability and commitment to environmentalism.

Oct. 19, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University is once again a "Cool School," according to the Sierra Club, one of the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the U.S. For the fifth straight year, SRU made the Sierra Club's 2020 Cool School rankings, which evaluates colleges and universities in North America for campus sustainability and schools' commitment to environmentalism.

SRU was ranked 180th out of more than 300 institutions evaluated. The rankings are based on a scoring system that includes survey responses and data from 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.

The criteria are based on four categories: academics (curriculum, research), engagement (campus, public), planning and administration (investment, affordability, well-being) and operations. Subcategories for operations include air and climate, buildings, energy, food and dining, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water.

The Sierra Club's Cool School rankings, now in its 14th year, is intended to be 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.

SRU, which has a Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2037, has been recognized in The Princeton Review's annual Guide to Green Colleges and as a top 100 school in the University of Indonesia's International Green Metric Survey. SRU was also the first four-year college in Pennsylvania to be named a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, and has a Silver Rating by the AASHE.

Founded by Scottish-American preservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club boasts more than 3.8 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 complete Cool School rankings are available on the Sierra Club website.

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