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Cool Schools Lead the Way

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Even in the heat of summer, amazing things are happening all across the nation on college and university campuses! This week, Sierra magazine released its seventh annual ranking of America's greenest schools, a salute to colleges that are helping to solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably. The ranking is not only a testament to university administrators who have prioritized these efforts, but also to young people who have organized and demanded that their campuses do their part.

Yesterday, the Sierra Student Coalition and Sierra magazine partnered to recognize American University, a first-time winner and one of this year's top 10 greenest schools. Chris O'Brien, Director of the Office of Sustainability at American University, was present to accept their award, along with members of his staff. The campus has the goal of being carbon neutral by 2020, and under Chris's leadership, we see it happening.

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Although American University is a great example of the type of progress being made at universities, we don't see these types of commitments everywhere. That's why the Sierra Student Coalition has young people all across the nation working to ensure that their campuses follow American University's lead and stop using carbon-intensive energy sources like coal that are making students sick and contributing to the warming of the globe. For example, at the University of Georgia students are organizing to make sure that they get a commitment from their administration this fall to retire a dirty, outdated on-campus coal boiler.

Higher education institutions can accomplish their missions to educate and empower the next generation by demonstrating leadership in the transition from dirty fuels of the past to 21st-century clean energy solutions. American University and the nation's coolest schools are showing us the way.

For more information about how your school ranked, visit here.

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