UC San Diego took the bronze medal among the nation’s most sustainable schools, according to a new report by Sierra Magazine.
The university jumped 12 spots in the rankings from last year, largely due to new “green majors,” sustainable student initiatives and high usage of public transportation around campus, the report said.
Half the universities on the list’s top 10 were California schools, including Stanford University (#5), UC Irvine (#6), UC Santa Cruz (#7) and UC Davis (#8).The number one ranked school was the University of Washington, followed by Green Mountain College in Vermont.
“Being green is part of our institutional DNA,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox in a statement. “This ranking reflects the commitment, planning and hard work of our students, faculty and staff to implement sustainable solutions which will create a better future for us all.”
The school was also recognized for several of its professors who won awards for their research on sustainability and environmental issues. The school’s ties to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and other institutions researching the impacts of humans on the environment boosted its ranking as well.
Many of UCSD’s practices make it a top sustainable school, too. Facilities on the campus use 100 percent natural gas to heat its buildings and only 1 percent coal for electricity.
A university spokesperson said student initiatives have been a driving force in the school’s sustainability.
“About two-thirds of students say a school’s commitment to going green is an important factor in their enrollment decisions,” said Avital Vinshtock, features editor at Sierra Magazine.