Aquinas College recognized by Sierra Club as one of nation’s “coolest” colleges
August 26, 2011 - (GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.) – Aquinas College has been recognized as one of the nation's top 100 "coolest" colleges by Sierra Club. The organization recently issued their 5th annual ranking of the coolest colleges in the United States and Aquinas placed 94th. The "Coolest Schools" ranking benchmarks colleges and universities based on the incorporation of climate change mitigation strategies and other sustainability programming into campus operations.
Aquinas College made the list for their commitment to sustainability. Aquinas offers an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Business as well as the area's first Masters in Sustainable Business. The on-campus Center for Sustainability promotes sustainable business practices by offering non-credit educational programs and engaging the Aquinas community in the college’s efforts toward sustainability.
Members of Sierra's editorial team constructed the survey with guidance from the Sierra Club's Conservation department, as well as from campus sustainability experts. The questions center on environmental goals and achievements, with priority given to concrete accomplishments. Its 10 categories include energy supply, efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments, and a catch-all called "other initiatives."
Some of the accomplishments that helped land Aquinas College on the top 100 list include:
· 3 LEED Certified Buildings, and 1 LEED Registered building awaiting final certification.
· Campus policy requiring that all new construction and major renovations project achieve LEED certification.
· Energy Star purchasing policy for all new equipment
· Campus Community Garden
· All campus copy paper contains at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.
· The promotion of alternative transportation through designated carpool parking, ample bike parking, and subsidies for the Rapid bus and vanpool programs.
· Campus recycling and composting programs
· Full-Time campus sustainability coordinator on staff
· Excessive Campus Idling Policy
>More information on the Campus Sustainability Initiative
>More information on the Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College