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Press Releases

Sierra Mag Releases Annual List of “Coolest” Schools

Universities commended for their strong commitment to environmental improvements

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SAN FRANCISCO – For the sixth year, SIERRA magazine announces the annual ranking of the nation’s “Coolest Schools,” a salute to the efforts of U.S. colleges that are helping solve climate issues and operating sustainably.

While researching the schools that are making a difference for the planet, SIERRA found common among the top 10 major actions taken toward improving sustainability across many realms, including energy sourcing, infrastructure, transportation, and, yes, academics. In addition, substantial efforts are being made to meticulously quantify their efforts to attain their environmental goals.

UC Davis, SIERRA’s number one school this year, stands out for its well-rounded set of sustainable efforts, including establishing rigorous green purchasing standards, diverting 70% of the school’s trash, and offering extraordinary transportation solutions: 20,000 bicycles park on campus every day.

From Stanford’s organic gardens, which provide wheat for bread (and barley for beer!), to Duke’s practice of generating and buying offsets to UConn’s extensive recycling programs, schools across America are taking dramatic steps to help preserve the planet and its resources.

“Every year we have the privilege and pleasure of highlighting all the wonderful ways the next generation of environmentalists are taking what they read in the pages of SIERRA and applying it to change the world,” says Kristi Rummel, SIERRA National Advertising Director. “Always one of our most popular features online, ‘Cool Schools’ embraces a young and savvy generation committed to protecting the outdoors.”

In 2011, “Cool Schools” received more than 100 million media impressions, while unique visitors to the magazine’s web site increased nearly 200%. New for 2012, we’re utilizing multi-media platforms to help tell the story about sustainability at U.S. colleges.

In addition to the features about environmental responsibility on campuses around the country, the September/October issue also contains eco-friendly products to green a dorm room (or bedroom!) and Michael Frank’s round-up of natural insect repellants. For those looking ahead to the winter, Sierra Club Outings lists out the 2013 winter domestic and international trips.

Please visit for the full rankings, editorial features and multi-media presentations.

About SIERRA magazine
SIERRA is the official bi-monthly publication of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most effective advocate for the environment and sustainable lifestyles. Over the past 100 years the Sierra Club has protected millions of miles of wild and scenic rivers. Join the more than one million SIERRA readers who find features and departments that inspire them to get outdoors, whether on land or water.