Chatham News

Sierra Magazine ranks Chatham for the 2nd year in a row as one America’s “greenest colleges”

The magazine’s eight annual ranking of the nation’s “Cool Schools” recognizes colleges for upholding high environmental standards

PITTSBURGHSierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, has ranked Chatham University as the country’s 20th greenest university in its eighth annual ranking of the nation’s “Cool Schools.” The rankings, published in the magazine’s latest issue, salute the higher education institutions across the United States that are weaving sustainability into their culture. Chatham is ranked at number twenty this year, improving 5 spots over last year’s ranking. View the full listing.

“For eight years Sierra magazine has encouraged America’s colleges and universities to fully embrace their unique and multifaceted role in tackling the climate crisis and protecting America’s air, water, public health and beautiful places,” said Bob Sipchen, Sierra magazine’s editor in chief. “From innovative research and development to powering campuses with wind and solar, to educating students in the most advanced thinking on sustainability, colleges and universities are leaders and models for the rest of society. Sierra magazine congratulates those that made our annual ‘Coolest Schools’ list.”

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 in 2013. 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. For a full list of sustainability commitments visit the website of Chatham’s Office of Sustainability.

Chatham’s sustainability efforts have also recently led to the opening of Eden Hall Campus, 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. Eden Hall is home to Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability and its bachelors and masters programs in sustainability and food studies.

Sierra magazine’s complete “Cool School” rankings, along with this year’s coverage of higher education’s environmental efforts, are online at

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

About Chatham University
Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has a long history of commitment to global understanding, women’s leadership and the environment. Chatham is the alma mater of environmental icon, Rachel Carson, and is recognized today as a leader in the field of sustainability, having been selected for The Princeton Review’s Green College Guide listing four years in a row, named to Sierra magazines list of top 20 “cool schools” and mentioned in a 2012 Forbes article as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for green living.”

Building on these accomplishments, Chatham opens in 2014 the world’s first fully sustainable campus in higher education, Eden Hall Campus, with completion of the first stage of construction on its 20-year master plan. Rising 19 spots over the past four years in the US News & World Reports Best Colleges rankings, Chatham works to prepare its 2,000+ undergraduate and graduate students in the fields driving tomorrow’s economy–sustainability, health sciences, business and communication, and the arts and sciences.

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