Prescott College Ranks in Sierra Cool Schools
“We celebrate the universities that have shown the highest level of commitment to making earth-saving decisions.”
The annual Sierra Cool Schools ranking is out, and Prescott College ranked number 86. See the full list and details on the survey and methodology here. “This is a good ranking relative to higher education as a whole industry,” says James Pittman, Director of Sustainability at Prescott College. “Only 96 institutions participated, of over 3,000 in the U.S.”
“We celebrate the universities that have shown the highest level of commitment to making earth-saving decisions,” states Avital Andrews in an article published for Sierra magazine. “Our sixth annual ranking of America’s greenest colleges is based on an exhaustive online survey (developed in collaboration with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, and the Princeton Review), which required school officials to provide quantifiable information about their campus’ eco-initiatives.”
“Next year we will certainly improve this and other rankings with all the current investments in sustainability through our campus housing, land and resource management, energy and water conservation measures, and activities of sustainability advocates across campus,” Pittman explains.
Pittman also explains why Prescott College hasn’t appeared on the list in recent years:
“In previous years we consciously opted out of such rankings, instead participating in an advocacy campaign with 77 other higher education sustainability managers calling for improved transparency and methodological rigor in higher education sustainability rankings.” (See the open letter at www.aashe.org/forums/open-letter-sustainability-evaluating-organizations.)
“We were pleased to see a direct and tremendous response to this call last year as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), The Sierra Cool Schools program, and the Princeton Review joined together to develop the Campus Sustainability Data Collector,” Pittman says.
By completing this survey in a newly aligned multi-ranking system, Prescott College has also joined a community of colleges registered in the AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). Our rating results for this program will be out next spring.
“The AASHE STARS system is the primary higher education standard for sustainability assessment,” explains Pittman. “As a member of the expert Technical Advisor team consulting on development of the tool in 2005 and 2006, I feel strongly that it provides the best available perspective on how well we are walking our talk in the context of sustainability.”