CSU, Chico News

University Ranks as a Sierra Club ‘Cool School’

Date: 08-17-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
James Pushnik, director
Institute for Sustainable Development

UPDATE 09-14-15: After publication, the Sierra Club revised its 2015 Cool Schools list due to errors it discovered in its scoring tool and formula. CSU, Chico is actually ranked No. 31.

CSU, Chico Also Named to Princeton Review’s Green Colleges List

California State University, Chico has once again been named to the Sierra Club’s Cool Schools list highlighting the nation’s greenest colleges and universities. For the second consecutive year, CSU, Chico ranked No. 39, the highest of any CSU.

The University is one of 153 schools named to the Cool Schools list, which is based on survey data submitted by campus administrators.

Staff in the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) at CSU, Chico completed an extensive online questionnaire administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. CSU, Chico received an overall score of 686.34 out of 1,000 points in 11 different categories.

The University ranked near the top for purchasing, academics and waste, ranking No. 8, No. 10 and No. 13 in those areas respectively. Other categories included co-curricular, energy, investments, food, innovation, planning, transit and water.

“There are more than 2,000 four-year schools in the U.S; to rank 39 out of 2,000 is huge,” said Jim Pushnik, director of the ISD. “There are areas where we have the capacity to improve, and we have plans to do that. But we’ve succeeded in the values we’ve focused on: instruction, minimizing our waste and addressing the supply line.

“I’m quite pleased that as the competition has stepped up, we’ve held our own.”

In addition to the Sierra Club list, the University was also recently named to the Princeton Review’s list of 353 Green Colleges for schools demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.

CSU, Chico’s longtime focus on sustainability has become increasingly notable in recent months. In both June and July, the University beat local water conservation requirements by 11 percent through a number of water-saving measures, including reducing landscape irrigation times and frequency, browning several acres of lawn and suspending towel service at the Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC), among others.

Earlier this year, students in the residence halls were among the winners of the 2015 Campus Conservation Nationals for the second consecutive year. For three weeks during the spring semester, approximately 400 Shasta and Lassen hall residents competed to reduce energy consumption compared to baseline energy use established earlier in the semester.

To learn more about campus sustainability, visit the Institute for Sustainable Development at www.csuchico.edu/sustainablefuture; or Experience Excellence, an online campus brochure, at www.csuchico.edu/excellence/sustainable-campus.