News Source: 
UW Today
August 14, 2012

The University of Washington again has been ranked among the coolest schools in America, placing fourth this year.

Sierra Magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, once again placed the University of Washington in the top echelon in the country for its initiatives to operate sustainably and limit its contributions to global warming. This is the fifth year the UW has been among the top-ranked schools; it was first last year.

The complete list of “cool schools” is available at

Schools were ranked on a variety of factors provided through an in-depth survey, which includes questions regarding energy consumption, transportation, waste, investments and student engagement. The award includes all three UW campuses.

“Year after year, the University of Washington is a top-ranked institution for sustainability, which is only fair considering the emphasis placed on this by faculty, staff and students,” says UW President Michael Young. “This is something of which we are very proud. We continue to break new ground and to broaden our efforts to treat our corner of the planet with respect, in the ways we live and work, but also in the breadth and intensity of our research and teaching.”

The university established a formal policy on environmental stewardship and has developed an ambitious Climate Action Plan, a document laying out the broad strategies the UW will use to become climate neutral.  The UW is a founding member of the Seattle Climate Partnership and is a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.  The university’s Environmental Stewardship Committee is supported by the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Office, which has created a dashboard as a means of measuring the university’s progress toward its environmental goals.