The magazine’s seventh annual ranking of the nation’s
“Coolest Schools” recognizes colleges for sustainable operations and shaping future environmental citizens, workers, and leaders
PITTSBURGH—Sierra magazine has ranked Chatham University as the country’s 24th greenest university in its seventh annual ranking of the nation’s “Coolest Schools.” The rankings, published in the magazine’s September/October issue, salute the higher education institutions across the United States that are taking dramatic steps to help protect the planet and its resources. Chatham is one of only two Pennsylvania institutions to make the top 25.
“Chatham University is proud to be recognized as one of the country’s top 25 greenest universities by Sierra magazine for our commitment to excellence in our sustainability efforts,” says Mary Whitney, sustainability coordinator at Chatham.
Sierra examined the academic institutions making a difference for the planet, seeking out campuses that are creating tangible change in all categories of greenness – from what’s served in dining halls to what’s taught in lecture halls to what’s powering the dorms.
“For the past seven years, Sierra magazine has ranked colleges and universities on their commitment to fighting climate disruption and making sure the future their students will inhabit has safe water, clean air and beautiful landscapes,” said Bob Sipchen, Sierra magazine’s editor-in-chief. “By showing such strong leadership on so many fronts—from energy use and transportation to the courses they offer—the best of these schools are pointing the way for other institutions.”
Chatham’s commitment to sustainability and the environment earned it an AASHE STARS Gold Rating and recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the League of American Bicyclists, among others. In addition, Chatham was the only North American institution to receive a Sustainable Campus Excellence Award from the International Sustainable Campus Network at their conference in Singapore earlier this year. The award recognizes universities for exceptional sustainability efforts in campus planning, integration with academics, student leadership, and exemplary building projects.
As a charter signatory of the President’s Climate Commitment, Chatham is committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2025. Since signing in 2007, Chatham’s square footage and enrollment have increased by 36 percent and 45 percent, respectively, yet has reduced its greenhouse gas net emissions by 68 percent. The Chatham University Climate Committee (students, staff, and faculty) supports sustainability and climate action goals through research, reduction projects, and outreach initiatives.
Chatham’s sustainability efforts to-date are leading to the opening of the new, Eden Hall Campus in the North Hills of Pittsburgh this fall. Eden Hall Campus is the first academic community in the world built from the ground up for the study of sustainable living, learning, and development. Using the latest in environmentally responsible technology, design, and innovation, Eden Hall will be self-sustaining in every way by emitting zero carbon emissions, managing all waste and storm water on-site, and producing more energy than it consumes. It is designed to one day serve more than 1,500 students (online and on-campus) in the fields of sustainability, health sciences, business, and more. By protecting valuable watersheds, incorporating surrounding land and
agricultural resources, and rehabilitating existing farm structures alongside developing new, green buildings, Eden Hall will be a one-of-a-kind venue for education, conferences, community outreach, and ecotourism.
Sierra magazine’s complete “Cool School” rankings, along with this year’s coverage of higher education’s environmental efforts, are online at www.sierraclub.org/coolschools.
About Sierra magazine
Sierra is the official publication of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. The Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. More information is available at www.sierramagazine.com.
About Chatham University
Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has a long history of commitment to the environment and today is a recognized leader in the field of sustainability Building on its accomplishments, Chatham is breaking new ground by building one of the world’s first fully sustainable campuses in higher education. Chatham is also one of only 22 schools in the U.S. to be named to The Princeton Review’s 2013 Green College Honor Roll and is mentioned in a 2012 Forbes article as one of the places contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for “green living.”
Located on 388 acres of formerly undeveloped farm and woodlands about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, the new, Eden Hall Campus integrates sustainable development, learning, and living throughout its design. Here, students of all disciplines learn to solve complex sustainability and environmental challenges through immersion in a range of fields, including food and sustainable agriculture, energy and climate, water, design and planning, and our community and health.
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