University of Vermont

University Communications

Sierra: UVM Third "Coolest School" in Country

Release Date: 08-22-2008

Author: Jeffrey R. Wakefield
Phone: 802/656-2005 Fax: (802) 656-3203

Sierra has ranked the University of Vermont third in the country in its annual Green College Guide, published as the cover story in the magazine's September/October issue, for the number and quality of the university's environmental initiatives.

In a feature titled "10 Coolest Schools," the magazine highlights UVM's Eco-Reps program, which trains students to offer "green guidance" to their peers, and its local food policy. The university buys 35 percent of its food from local growers.

The magazine's website notes other UVM green practices: 60 percent of the campus's power needs are supplied with renewable energy; 20 tons of the university's food waste are composted each month; and the campus transportation system features alternative fuel buses.

Schools were scored in 10 categories: policies for building, energy, food, investment, procurement, and transportation; curriculum; environmental activism; waste management; and overall commitment to sustainability. A perfect score in every area would give a school 100 points. UVM scored a 91.5.

"Although there's still much to do, it's gratifying to be recognized for the important progress we have made," said Gioia Thompson, director of UVM's Office of Sustainability. "I'm especially pleased for our student leaders. They're not only making programs like Eco-Reps possible, they've also taken an active role in launching many other initiatives, such as our new Clean Energy Fund and this year's Focus the Nation events. Their energy and vision make campus sustainability a cool topic for fellow students, and they are enthusiastically supported by the university's leadership, faculty, and staff."

UVM has received several other accolades for its green campus and practices in recent months. The Sustainable Endowments Institute selected it as one of the nation's six greenest schools in its 2007 Annual Report Card; Forbes magazine included the university in its "10 Greenest Colleges and Universities" list; and the 2009 Kaplan College Guide named it one of the country's "Top 25 Most Environmentally Responsible Schools."

To view Sierra's 10 Coolest Schools list, see