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Sierra Club ranks UNH among top 20 'cool schools' for environmental initiatives

By Gretyl Macalaster
Union Leader Correspondent

August 14. 2013 1:26PM

DURHAM - For the second year in a row the University of New Hampshire has ranked in the top 20 "cool schools" as ranked by Sierra magazine.

The seventh annual ranking rates how United States colleges and universities are helping to solve climate problems and make significant efforts to operate sustainably.

Although still in the top 20, UNH moved down to 14th on the 2013 list from sixth in 2012.

Other New Hampshire colleges did not rank as well. Dartmouth College ranked 108th, followed by Plymouth State University ranking 150th out of 162 colleges and universities.

The University of Connecticut was the top ranked school followed by Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and University of California, Irvine. Green Mountain College in Vermont ranked sixth and was the only other college in New England to make the top ten.

Sierra recognized UCONN for offering more than 600 sustainability-related classes, reducing water use by 15 percent since 2005 and retrofitting 13 buildings over the past two years to prevent emission of 2,640 annual tons of carbon dioxide. At least ¼ of the food served in dining halls is processed within 100 miles of campus and many ingredients are harvested right on campus, according to Sierra‘s report.

Sierra sought out campuses creating tangible change in various categories of "greenness," including what is served dining halls, what is taught in lecture halls, what is powering dorms and what the universities are investing in.

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