UNH sustainability efforts reach for the stars

Monday, November 9, 2020
T Hall tower

When it comes to sustainability you can never have too much validation, particularly when it recognizes a commitment that runs deep, as it does at UNH. The latest distinction comes from  the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) whose 2020 Sustainable Campus Index places UNH among the top 10 in three impact areas, and #6 overall among doctoral institutions.

Those rankings are determined by AASHE’S Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), which measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. UNH is ranked #5 in curriculum, #3 in energy and tied at #6 in the research, along with many other schools. The university is one of only nine schools to achieve a STARS Platinum rating — the highest possible — in recognition of its sustainability work.

Nearly 20 percent of the courses offered at UNH are focused on or related to sustainability, with more than 75 percent of departments having at least one. The energy ranking is a nod to the 36 percent reduction in energy consumption per square foot that has been achieved since 2001. And more than 50 percent of UNH researchers and more than 85 percent of the departments engage in sustainability-focused research.

In September, the Sierra Club ranked UNH at number nine on its list of the 20 Coolest Schools of 2020 while the Princeton Review announced UNH was among the top 30 schools on its 2021 Green Honor Roll. Colleges and universities making the grade receive a score of 99, the highest possible score in the Review’s rating system.