Oberlin, Case Western Reserve and Kent State are sustainable 'Cool Schools,' Sierra Magazine says; Cleveland.com; August 24, 2017 | Kent State University

Oberlin, Case Western Reserve and Kent State are sustainable 'Cool Schools,' Sierra Magazine says; Cleveland.com; August 24, 2017

By Karen Farkas, cleveland.com kfarkas@cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Oberlin College, Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University have been named "Cool Schools" by Sierra Magazine for their commitment to sustainability.

The magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, ranked 239 colleges on their environmental practices in areas including food, transportation systems, water and waste management, purchasing procedures and investments.

Sustainability is important to students and more than a quarter of prospective college students cite a school's sustainability commitment as a "very important" factor in their decision about which college or university to attend, the magazine said.

Higher education administrators are also increasingly committed to sustainability and the idea of using their campuses as places to devise and pilot climate solutions, the magazine said.

Following President Donald Trump's June announcement that he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, hundreds of colleges declared their intent to continue reducing carbon emissions.

The magazine partnered with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to survey schools that chose to participate and submit data.


Oberlin College ranked 19th.

"Environmental sustainability at Oberlin is fundamental to campus life," the college says on its website. "To create an enduring ecological and human community, we shape our college to be responsive and responsible to the local, regional, and global environment. We conserve energy, eat foods grown locally, reuse and recycle materials, and pursue a carbon neutral future."

Sierra Magazine acknowledged that many schools that care about the environment don't appear on the list. 

"That said, our rankings can serve as a guide for prospective students, current students, administrators and alumni to compare colleges' commitments to environmentalism," the report said. "It also serves to spur healthy competition among schools, raise environmental standards on campus, and publicly reward the institutions that work hard to protect the planet." 

Following are the rankings of Ohio colleges:

Oberlin College: 19

Denison University: 87

Case Western Reserve University: 94

Ohio University: 130

University of Dayton: 169

Kent State University: 213

Wittenberg University: 221

POSTED: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 4:40pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 4:41pm