The University of New Hampshire has once again been recognized for its sustainability efforts by the Sierra Club, which ranked UNH ninth among the “Top 20 Coolest Schools of 2021.”
A record 328 schools across the United States and Canada submitted to this year’s fifteenth annual rankings. The list, published in Sierra – the Sierra Club’s national magazine – recognizes North America’s greenest colleges and universities.
UNH was also ranked among the top 20 in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“UNH is home of the nation’s first endowed university sustainability institute and has continued to deepen our more than two-decade commitment to sustainability through partnerships on campus and in our communities, serving as a model ‘sustainable learning community,’” says Fiona Wilson, deputy chief sustainability officer and director of UNH’s Sustainability Institute.
|UNH was honored by the Sierra Club as a sustainability leader. (Courtesy photo)
Among the recent UNH initiatives showcased in this year’s rankings by the Sierra Club was the B Impact Clinic, which trains UNH students in B Corp certification methodology and matches them with local companies to help them evaluate and improve their sustainability practices, as well as become and stay certified. The rankings also highlighted that this year UNH will unveil a parallel program, the Carbon Clinic, through which students will use UNH’s Sustainability Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP), a tool developed by UNH and now used in more than 500 colleges nationwide for carbon accounting, to help businesses and other local entities conduct GHG inventories and develop climate action plans.
Other achievements called out by the Sierra Club include UNH’s recently released new “WildCAP” climate action plan, and the new university-wide Sustainability Awards, designed to honor and fund students, staff and faculty.
“We are proud to be among this distinguished group of colleges and universities ranked in Sierra’s top 20, all of whom have displayed a deep and thorough commitment to addressing climate change, protecting the natural world, and encouraging environmental responsibility both through their campus operations and course curricula,” Wilson says.
Of the rankings, Eddie Junsay, youth leadership director of the Sierra Club, says: “School campuses play an important role providing the environment for students to collectively develop their political analysis and learn how to advocate for the world they want to see. This issue is a chance for schools to heed the calls of their students to be leaders for climate and social justice.”