GW inches up Sierra Magazine’s green campus rankings

University President Steven Knapp said he want GW to be the “chief model of urban sustainability in a city that itself aspires to be a green city,” in a speech on Earth Day last year. Hatchet File Photo

GW rose to No. 27 in Sierra Magazine’s “Coolest Schools” ranking, again landing in the top 30 percent of the nation’s greenest campuses.

The University inched up from its spot at No. 30 out of 118 colleges last year, the third straight year it has climbed up the eco-friendly list.

Schools are scored high for examples of green development, such as sustainability outreach or faculty research.  GW earned 559.68 points out of a possible 894.50, and earned the fourth highest mark on the list for energy use.
The University of California Davis topped the list, scoring 709.17 points with perfect marks for innovation and co-curricular programs like events, campus gardens and student groups.
In 2010, GW jumped into the No. 57 spot – up from No. 81 the previous year – as the University added more eco-friendly buildings and academic offerings.

This year’s spot on the list of America’s Greenest Colleges is far cry from the “5 That Fail” list Sierra magazine placed GW on in 2008, the first year of University President Steven Knapp’s tenure, docking points for the University’s lack of plan to reduce GW’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Since then, Knapp has prioritized campus sustainability. In the past year, he signed a District-centric sustainability pledge, outlined targets for a campus-wide “ecosystem plan” and created a sustainability minor.

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