GW leaps forward in sustainability rankings

President Stephen Knapp
University President Steven Knapp has said he would make sustainability a priority for GW. Hatchet File Photo
GW jumped more than 10 spots to No. 12 on the Sierra Club’s list of the most environmentally friendly colleges this year.

The leap follows a three-spot jump last year on the environmental non-profit’s annual list of the most sustainable colleges across the country. GW has surged 82 spots since 2009.

The organization ranks colleges using a survey that participating institutions complete, which evaluates areas like energy usage, academics, waste level and whether an institution uses innovative solutions for sustainability challenges. GW scored highly in planning, innovation and use of sustainable transportation, but low in making investments that promote sustainability and purchasing environmentally friendly goods, food or beverages.

The University of California-Irvine topped the list, while neighboring American University placed second.

University President Steven Knapp has made sustainability a top priority since GW was named one of the least sustainable universities a year after he arrived on campus.

This year, Knapp announced GW would sign on to the Real Food Challenge, which commits the University to ensuring one-fifth of all food in its dining halls will come from local and sustainable sources by 2020.

GW also announced a partnership with American University and GW Hospital in June to take more than half its energy from a solar power farm in North Carolina starting this winter.

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