Sierra magazine says Stanford is among the nation’s greenest universities

SIERRA magazine has ranked Stanford among the 10 greenest universities in the nation. According to the magazine’s website, the ranking of “Cool Schools” is a collaborative effort among the Sierra Club, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Endowments Institute and the Princeton Review.

Specifically, Stanford ranked third, following the University of California-Davis and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The survey ranking is based on scores in 11 categories, ranging from education/research to waste. Stanford did particularly well in transportation, water, food, planning and innovation, according to the magazine publishers.

Stanford sustainability officials are admittedly puzzled by some of the ranking methodology, but nevertheless pleased that the university’s efforts are nationally recognized.

FAHMIDA AHMED, head of the Office of Sustainability, said Sierra used data from a recent report from AASHE, added in data from its own June survey and assigned a weight to each category.

Sierra says this about Stanford:

“At Stanford, hungry students can pick from more than 20 courses about domestic and global food systems. Dining halls and campus farming workshops harvest ingredients—including barley for beer—from their own organic gardens.”

The magazine’s website features the photograph below by LINDA CICERO of the Stanford News Service of a student in Principals and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture taking a compost pile’s temperature.

Sierra photograph of Stanford sustainability
A Stanford student takes the temperature of a compost pile.