ASU named one the nation’s top 10 "Coolest" Schools by Sierra Magazine

Sierra magazine, a publication of The Sierra Club, has named Arizona State University (ASU) one of the nation’s Top 10 "Coolest" Schools for its efforts to stop global warming. The cover story for Sierra’s September/October issue is its second annual listing of the greenest American colleges and universities.

This year’s Top 10 "Coolest" Schools are noted for taking dramatic steps to curb global warming. Sierra’s list, "10 That Get It," shows that schools of all sizes are taking action. Top schools earned points for policies in 10 categories: buildings, energy, food, investment, procurement, transportation, curriculum, environmental activism, waste management, and overall commitment to sustainability. A perfect score in every category would give a school 100 points.

With the largest student population of the selected schools, ASU ranked number six with a score of 87. Sierra’s Top 10 "Coolest" Schools of 2008 are:

1. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont, 2,350 students)
2. University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado, 29,000 students)
3. University of Vermont at Burlington (Burlington, Vermont, 10,750 students)
4. Warren Wilson College (Swannanoa, North Carolina, 850 students)
5. Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington, 4,400 students)
6. Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona, 51,500 students)
7 University of Florida at Gainesville (Gainesville, Florida, 50,000 students)
8. Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH, 2,200 students)
9. University of Washington at Seattle (Seattle, Washington, 39,250 students)
10. Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts, 8,500 students)

"A new trend is sweeping the country — American schools are going green," said Bob Sipchen, Sierra’s editor-in-chief. "When schools take such significant steps toward addressing global warming, it will have a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of students. And if young people take that passion into their communities and careers, it will reverberate globally."

"ASU's growing recognition as an institution committed to advancing sustainability education, research, operations, and outreach is a source of pride and a testament to the steadfast dedication and leadership of our university community as a whole," said ASU President Michael Crow.

Through the generous gifts of Julie Ann Wrigley, ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability was established in 2004 as the hub of the university's sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education, and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the U.S., was established in 2007 and offers integrated degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges.

Sustainability is a fundamental precept at ASU and permeates its teaching, learning, research, and business missions. Some key initiatives underway at ASU include deployment of solar power on all four campuses, development of highly efficient buildings, operation of all campuses to be carbon neutral and produce zero waste, and unified dedication and commitment to finding sustainable solutions for issues of energy, water, urbanization, and climate change.

"ASU is proud to be included in this group of accomplished universities," said Bonny Bentzin, manager of university sustainability business practices at ASU. "Rating systems such as the Sierra magazine assessment are important both for benchmarking accomplishments and sharing best practices. Through the work of many departments and individuals across the university we have come a long way."

About ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability

ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of the university’s sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the US, offers transdisciplinary degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. For more information visit the Global Institute of Sustainability at or the School of Sustainability at

About Sierra Magazine

Sierra magazine has 1.2 million readers, and is a publication of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental group. For full descriptions of each winning school’s green efforts, visit Sierra magazine online at

 Media Contacts:

Karen Leland, [email protected]
480-965-0013 / cell: 602-705-7525
Global Institute of Sustainability,
Arizona State University

Sharon Keeler, [email protected]
Media Relations, Arizona State University

Orli Cotel, [email protected]
Publicist, Sierra Club

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