For the second year in a row, UC Irvine has been ranked No. 1 in Sierra Magazine’s annual “Cool Schools” ranking, of the country’s most environmentally sustainable colleges.
As the nation’s largest and oldest environmental institution working to safeguard the environment, the Sierra Club has now ranked colleges for their environmental sustainability efforts for the ninth year. This is the first time any university has been No. 1 twice and the sixth year UC Irvine has placed in the top 10.
UC Irvine scored 867 out of a possible 1,000 points in the Sierra Club ranking. The university received perfect scores in campus “innovation” and “planning” and only fell one point short from a perfect 105 in “waste management”.
UC Irvine’s award-winning energy management program has been in place for the last 26 years. This has allowed more than 200 faculty members to conduct research, provide crucial information and even pioneer projects on environmental topics such as power generation, climate change and even environmental law.
Campus projects, such as the development of hydration stations which allow students to refill their reusable water bottles, three on-campus solar energy projects and a turbine cogeneration power plant, contributed to those perfect scores.
Five buildings are also certified as producing zero waste, meaning 95 percent or more of their wastes are recycled or reused, furthering the campus’s score in the club ranking.
79 points ahead of runner-up UC Davis, UC Irvine still has an opportunity to grow in a variety of categories, especially in “food management” and “energy management” categories where the campus only scored 35 out of 51 points and 198 out of 249 points respectively.
“We’re thrilled that our successes in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction (…) have garnered this recognition,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We have people dedicated to zero-waste and water preservation projects, alternative energy research and more. It’s a testament to a campuswide commitment from students, faculty and staff to preserve our planet.”