Almost all of the institutions – 290 – have responded to at least one of three surveys used by the College Sustainability Report Card. The highest score received, an A-, was given to 15 universities, and 75 percent of the universities scored Bs or Cs. Two out of three schools have improved their scores since last year.
Launching today, the website was created to provide easy access to see what is being done in the world of higher learning. Institutions can be searched by name, endowment, grades and a wide variety of green issues, including recycling, renewable energy credits, green roofs and car sharing.
The top 15 schools, named College Sustainability Leaders, are Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Stanford, Carleton, Dickinson, Middlebury, Oberlin, University of Colorado, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, University of Washington and University of British Columbia.
Each school has an overall grade along with a grade in nine categories: climate and energy use, green building, food and recycling, transportation, administration, student involvement, endowment transparency, shareholder engagement and investment priorities.
Harvard, for example, has a 24-member Harvard Green Campus Initiative, has three solar photovoltaic setups, requires all new buildings to follow LEED standards, composts, reclaims cooking oil and offers employees discounted transit passes. However, it received a low score for endowment transparency.