San Francisco Advantage

Sierra Magazine Ranks USF Among 'Coolest Schools'

by Ericka Montes, Office of Marketing Communications

Sierra magazine has named the University of San Francisco one of the nation’s “Coolest Schools”for its campus greening efforts and for its student and faculty programs aimed at raising awareness about environmental responsibility.

USF ranked 56 out of 118 schools for increasing composting and recycling on campus; purchasing locally grown food and free-range and grass-fed meat for cafeteria consumption; and reducing campus plastic water bottle sales by adding water bottle refill spouts on water fountains. USF also uses post-consumer recycled paper for much of its copying and printing needs. About 60 percent of the university’s vehicle fleet is composed of hybrids.

“We’re thrilled to highlight these forward-thinking schools for emphasizing environmental responsibility, and for teaching, inspiring, and empowering students to affect real change,” said Bob Sipchen, Sierra’s editor-in-chief.

USF earns an A- on the 2010 Sustainability Report Card.

On the curricular side, USF students can study sustainability and organic gardening as members of the Garden Project, a cohort of students who live and study together, work on the university’s quarter-acre organic garden, and learn about climate change, water rights, food security, and social and economic justice as it relates to food production.

The university offers four-year degrees in environmental studies and environmental science, and a graduate degree in environmental management.

Sierra’s rankings are based on ten categories that analyzed the university’s energy supply sources, waste management, food sources, and sustainable academic programs. Each category was worth a maximum 10 points for a total of 100 points. USF earned 58.8 compared with the No. 1 ranked school earning 81.2.