Yesterday, the Sierra Club released its “cool schools” ranking of the most eco-awesome colleges and universities in the country. Last year the University of Colorado at Boulder ranked #1. This year, #13.
CU wasn’t the only one on a roller coaster ride. According to a blog on the Chronicle of Higher Eductaion’s website:
Dickinson College went from 19th in 2009 to No. 2, and Stanford University zoomed up from 26th to 5th. Yale University went from 14th to 26th, and Emory University fell 10 notches to 42nd.
You might assume from such fluctuations that sustainability programs went haywire in the past year. But little changed, it seems, other than Sierra‘s ranking methodology. Energy issues were given more weight in this year’s survey, Sierra editors say, but that answer probably won’t satisfy the longtime critics of these green ratings.
And the new emphasis on energy sources are what hurt CU. Dave Newport, director of CU’s Environmental Center, told the Camera that the university is at the whims of Xcel Energy, which still relies heavily on coal.