Sierra Magazine Names ASU as a "cool school"

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY NAMED ONE OF AMERICA'S TOP 20 "COOLEST" SCHOOLS BY SIERRA MAGAZINE. ASU praised for green efforts by national magazine, ranks #13 on list

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sierra magazine has named the nation's top 20 "coolest" schools for their efforts to stop global warming and operate sustainably. The magazine's September/October cover story spotlights the schools that are making a true impact for the planet, and marks Sierra's third annual listing of America's greenest universities and colleges. The complete list is available online at

Arizona State University (ASU) placed #13 on the list. Sustainability initiatives at Arizona State University include the only purchasing program to score a perfect "10" among Sierra's top 20, ramped-up recycling and waste-diversion efforts, energy-efficiency upgrades that have saved ASU an estimated 33 million kWh and 70 million pounds of CO2 annually, one of the largest university solar initiatives in the country; and ASU is home to the nation's first School of Sustainability.

"We're thrilled to see Arizona State University making a real commitment to greening its campus," said Carl Pope, the Sierra Club's executive director. "The next generation of students cares deeply about stopping global warming, and schools like Arizona State University that take the initiative to become environmentally responsible are doing the right thing for the planet and are better poised to attract the best students."

"Universities are in a unique position to address the grand challenges of sustainability in the 21st century," said Rob Melnick, executive dean of ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability. "ASU is committed to aligning its research, education, outreach, and business practices with these increasingly urgent and complex challenges."

"We have a great responsibility to advance sustainability in our daily operations – to consistently model best practices for our students and our community," said Associate Vice President for Business Services and ASU's Sustainability Operations Officer, Ray Jensen. "It's imperative for a university that is leading the way in sustainability education to also walk the talk. We're honored that Sierra has recognized our efforts with this distinction."

This year's top-20 coolest schools are taking dramatic steps to curb climate change. Whether it's ASU, with 67,082 students, or College of the Atlantic with 321 students, Sierra's list shows that schools of all sizes are taking action.

Sierra's Top 20 coolest schools of 2009 are:

  1. University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado)
  2. University of Washington at Seattle (Seattle, Washington)
  3. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont)
  4. University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont)
  5. College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
  6. Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington)
  7. University of California at Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, California)
  8. University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley, California)
  9. University of California at Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)
  10. Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)
  11. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  12. University of New Hampshire (Durham, New Hampshire)
  13. Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)
  14. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
  15. University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
  16. Bates College (Lewiston, Maine)
  17. Willamette University (Salem, Oregon)
  18. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina)
  19. Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
  20. New York University (Manhattan, New York)

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:

About Arizona State University (ASU)

ASU has a vision to be a New American University, promoting excellence in its research and among its students and faculty, increasing access to its educational resources and working with communities to positively impact social and economic development. Further, ASU is a public institution where sustainability is a fundamental precept underlying its teaching, learning, research, and business missions; it seeks to create meaningful change by producing knowledge resulting in solutions to global problems of sustainability.

About ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability

The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU'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

About ASU's School of Sustainability

Established in 2007, the School of Sustainability brings together multiple disciplines and leaders to create and share knowledge, train a new generation of scholars and practitioners, and develop practical solutions to the most pressing environmental, economic, and social challenges of sustainability – especially as they relate to urban areas. For more information visit the School of Sustainability at

About Campus Sustainability and University Sustainable Business Practices

ASU recognizes that promoting sustainability begins internally with its own business practices and university policy. ASU's sustainability initiatives, spearheaded by the Global Institute of Sustainability, are advanced by the efforts of people and departments from across the University; leading sustainable practices are addressed and implemented in the areas of energy, water, buildings and grounds, carbon neutrality, food services, transportation, waste and recycling, and, purchasing and policies. For more information visit


Karen Leland, 480-965-0013 / [email protected]
Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

Michelle Schwartz, 480-965-9008 / [email protected]
Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

Orli Cotel, 415-977-5627 / [email protected]
Sierra Club