Villanova University—a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment—has again earned national recognition for its commitment to sustainability. The University was ranked #32 nationally by the Sierra Club, in its fifth-annual “Cool Schools” ranking of the greenest colleges in the United States.
The Sierra Club’s annual ranking judges universities for their performance in 10 categories: energy supply, efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments, and other initiatives. A total of 118 universities nationwide made the list, with Villanova moving up 21 spots from a year ago to #32. According to the Sierra Club, “There are more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, meaning that the schools on the ‘Coolest Schools’ index are in the top 10 percent when it comes to the environment.”
At Villanova, environmental sustainability is a natural outgrowth of the University’s Catholic Augustinian culture. According to Villanova’s President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., “The earth and all its life forms inherently deserve our respect and our stewardship. As an academic community, we recognize the danger of ignoring the plight of our planet. We are committed to intellectual endeavors, actions, and policies that support our environment now and for generations to come.”
Villanova, as part of its responsibility as a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), created a formal Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2010. This plan sets forth the year 2050 as the university’s target date for net climate neutrality.
Environmental sustainability and awareness are integral to the academic life of the University. Numerous programs provide an emphasis on sustainability, including: master’s degree in sustainable engineering; first-year “Nature and the World” learning community; bachelor’s degrees in environmental science, environmental studies, and environmental biology/ecology; undergraduate minor in environmental studies; biology master’s degree, graduate certificate, and advanced graduate certificate with a concentration in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology; master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering, and a graduate certificate in urban water resources design. Additionally, Villanova recently added a new graduate sustainability course in “Sustainable Industrial Chemistry.”
Click here for more information about Villanova University’s commitment to sustainability.