The Sustainable Endowments Institute announced this week results of its annual College Sustainability Report Card and UC Merced earned a "B+."
"The College Sustainability Report Card is one of the most thorough and comprehensive campus sustainability rankings out there," said Matthew St.Clair, sustainability manager for the UC Office of the President. "The fact that only 25 universities in the country got a higher overall grade than UC Merced, which has only had four to five short years to develop programs, is commendable."
The 2010 College Sustainability Report Card includes profiles for 332 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Thirty-three California campuses — including four other UC schools — were included in the report and UC Merced's overall grade placed it among the state's top seven. This year's report marks the first time UC Merced was included in the ranking.
"We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts," said James Genes, special assistant to the vice chancellor of administration and co-chair of UC Merced's Sustainability Advisory Committee . "Our first-time grade of "B+" reflects UC Merced's commitment to sustainability. In California, only three universities did better than us — Stanford, UC San Diego and Pomona College."
The Sustainable Endowments Institute, established in 2005, is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. The goal of the organization's report card is to provide information about schools' sustainability efforts so that all can learn from each other's experiences and foster more effective policies.
Participating schools earned letter grades based on assessments in several categories that included administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building construction, student involvement and transportation. Schools that earned an average grade of "A-" or better across all six of those categories were also recognized as campus sustainability leaders.
UC Merced earned "A's" for its buildings' energy-efficient and environmentally friendly construction, food and recycling efforts and energy and climate change policies that emphasize reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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