Hobart and William Smith have again been recognized as one of higher education’s top leaders in campus sustainability according to Sierra magazine’s 2017 “Cool Schools” rankings which spotlight the greenest schools in the U.S. and Canada.
Lauded for committing to sustainable practices and leadership, Hobart and William Smith rank No. 53 overall this year, earning the highest possible rating in the category for innovation in sustainability and advancing 63 total spots since first appearing on the list in 2009. It’s the third consecutive year the Colleges have landed top honors for innovation in sustainability.
Now in its 11th annual year, Sierra’s “Cool Schools” listing ranks colleges and universities across categories such as learning outcomes, renewable energy, outreach and peer-to-peer programs. Hobart and William Smith make the newly published ranking alongside colleges and universities such as Colgate University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Middlebury College, Oberlin College and Pomona College. Published by the Sierra Club, Sierra magazine reaches more than one million people.
For the ranking, Sierra uses data and information reported to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting program, the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Earlier this year, Hobart and William Smith were recognized as a STARS Silver Institution, an international rating awarded by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Some of the Colleges’ other recent points of distinction in sustainability include: achieving LEED Gold for Gearan Center for the Performing Arts; establishing the first of two local solar farms that will deliver up to 50% of electricity at HWS; launching a Sustainable Living and Learning Community program for first-year students; and welcoming the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which offers community support across education, advocacy and policy.
In addition, for the fifth consecutive year, the Colleges were recently named a Tree Campus USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation. Last year, Hobart and William Smith were featured in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to 361 Green Colleges.”
At HWS, widespread campus sustainability efforts gained greater momentum in 2007 when the Colleges joined the Climate Leadership Network’s Carbon Commitment, making HWS a charter member of a national effort to reduce emissions of the gases responsible for global warming. In 2010, the Colleges launched the HWS Climate Action Plan, placing a 2025 deadline on campus climate neutrality and advancing immediate actions to make a tangible difference.