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100 eco-friendliest colleges and universities

100 eco-friendliest colleges and universities

Posting in Energy

Vermont's Green Mountain College is at the head of the class. Stanford and Harvard also make the grade.

Now is about the time when soon-to-be high-school seniors really start freaking out over where they're going to apply to college and whether or not they have the grades to get in. In that spirit of late summer reflection, Sierra magazine has just come out with its September issue, which features a special report on the Top 100 Schools from the green point of view.

Even the non-parents who read this blog will find this list compelling. I don't know about you, but my years at McGill University were the most formative in my life. As the current generation becomes more surrounded by environmental and sustainability issues, there will be massive shifts in our business behavior.

The biggest factor in selection for this list was the energy supply used by the university and whether or not it was incorporating renewable sources into its mix, along with energy efficiency practices. Sierra also looked at food used on campus, academic curriculum reflecting the sustainability movement, purchasing habits, waste management, transportation policy, and the university's financial investments and ties.

Frankly, what I love about the Top 10 of this list is that it features several institutions that I have never heard of, which tells me that there is probably a real opportunity for smaller schools to use the smart planet movement as a real point of differentiation not just for their campus, but for their curriculum. Although the list has lots of private schools listed, state universities are doing their part.

Here's the whole top 10:

  1. Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vt.)
  2. Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa.)
  3. Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
  4. University of Washington (Seattle)
  5. Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.)
  6. University of California - Irvine (Irvine, Calif.)
  7. Northland College (Ashland, Wisc.)
  8. Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
  9. College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
  10. Hampshire College (Amherst, Mass.)

Photo: Harvard University

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure