College Sustainability Report Card 2011: Winners And Losers
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Today, the Sustainable Endowments Institute released the fifth edition of its College Sustainability Report Card, which rates 322 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada according to how green they are. The report indicates that significant efforts have been made by many universities to increase levels of sustainability since 2006 -- this year, for example, 70 percent of participating schools have a campus farm or garden (up from 9 percent in 2006), 95 percent have a sustainability committee (up from 40 percent in 2006) and a whopping 75 percent have eliminated trays from their dining room tables (up from zero percent in 2006).
Participating schools were graded in nine categories, include climate change and energy, green building and endowment transparency and then given an overall GPA. Schools were assessed according to public data as well as custom surveys sent out to campus officials and student organizations.
Inside Higher Ed notes that this particular report card has caused some controversy among certain colleges because it takes into account transparency in its rankings. In July, 24 colleges issued a letter saying that they would not cooperate with the institute. Still, SEI's set of rankings is regarded as one of the most comprehensive assessments of campus sustainability.
Along with the report, SEI launched a corresponding website, GreenReportCard.org, which features an interactive map, detailed profiles of each school and full answers to survey questions.
Below, check out the seven schools that earned top marks -- and the seven that got the lowest. Has your campus made an effort to be more environmentally friendly? Tell us about it below.