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Press Releases

Sierra Magazine Reveals 2013 Rankings of America’s Greenest Universities in September/October Issue

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Colleges recognized for sustainable operations andshaping future environmental citizens, workers, and leaders

SAN FRANCISCO – Today Sierra magazine released its seventh annual ranking of the nation’s “Coolest Schools,” a salute to U.S. colleges that are helping to solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably.

Sierra examined the academic institutions making a difference for the planet, seeking out campuses that are creating tangible change in all categories of greenness – from what’s served in dining halls to what’s taught in lecture halls to what’s powering the dorms. Whether it’s Cornell’s minor in climate change or American University’s new campus-wide composting program, schools across America are taking dramatic steps to help protect the planet and its resources.

The University of Connecticut, Sierra’s number-one school, stands out for offering more than 600 sustainability-related classes; for having reduced its water use by 15% since 2005; and for, over the past two years, having retrofitted 13 buildings to prevent emitting 2,640 annual tons of carbon dioxide. In addition, more than a quarter of the food served in dining halls is processed within 100 miles, with many ingredients harvested right on campus. UConn’s first appearance on Sierra magazine’s “Coolest Schools” list was in 2010, at number 49.

“Every year Sierra magazine is granted a behind-the-scenes look at the innovative ways the next generation of environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts are taking what they read in the pages of our magazine 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 2012, “Cool Schools” generated dozens of print, online and radio interviews, reaching over 10 million media impressions, while page views to the magazine’s website increased over 140%. New for 2013, we’re utilizing multi-media platforms, including share graphics and video, to help tell the story about sustainability at U.S. colleges.

As well, Sierra magazine and select partners are celebrating the outdoors this fall by giving readers multiple chances to win gear from favorite outdoor brands via Sierra’s annual “20 Days of Giveaways” sweepstakes. From a DeLorme Satellite Communicator to a Dahon foldable bike, we are giving away the hottest gear on the market!

Exclusively online is a video made by the Sierra Club’s “Best Interns,” sent on assignment to document the behind-the-scenes goings on of the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a biannual contest during which students build futuristic solar-powered houses.

The complete rankings, along with this year’s coverage of higher education’s environmental efforts, are online

Visit to enter the sweepstakes. To have your product considered for a giveaway, email

About Sierra magazine:

Sierra is the official publication of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. The Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, please