There’s another green feather in Stanford’s cap

Sierra Magazine coverSierra magazine, which annually surveys the nation’s most sustainable universities to find out how eco-campuses are shaping the future, has named Stanford one of America’s “Ten Coolest Schools for 2013.”

Here’s the magazine’s blurb about Stanford, which ranked seventh:

“‘Sustainability must become a core value in everything we do,’ wrote Stanford President JOHN HENNESSY. Over five years, the California school raised more than $430 million for its Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability, a chunk of which is headed toward a new energy facility that’ll halve the 8,180-acre campus’s carbon emissions and cut its water used by almost a fifth. Some 130 professors spanning 40 departments teach at least 700 sustainability-related classes. No surprise then, that three dozen student clubs are green-themed and that recycling and composting are big: The waste-diversion rate here tops 66 percent, and the goal is zero waste.”

Sierra, the bi-monthly magazine of the Sierra Club, examined the academic institutions making a difference for the planet for its September/October 2013 issue. Its staff sought out campuses that are creating tangible change in all categories of greenness – from what’s served in dining halls to what’s taught in lecture halls to what’s powering the dorms.

In addition to the data-based rankings, the September/October issue also will feature a variety of stories that examine whether sustainability efforts at colleges and universities really make a difference when students graduate.

“For the past seven years, Sierra magazine has ranked colleges and universities on their commitment to fighting climate disruption and making sure the future their students will inhabit has safe water, clean air and beautiful landscapes,” said BOB SIPCHEN, editor-in-chief. “By showing such strong leadership on so many fronts – from energy use and transportation to the courses they offer – the best of these schools are pointing the way for other institutions.”

The recognition was the latest “green feather” in Stanford’s cap.

Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the highest certification for sustainability in operations and maintenance – LEED Platinum – to Stanford’s Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building.

Also last week, Stanford made the “2014 Green Rating Honor Roll” compiled by The Princeton Review.

— KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN