Oberlin College was named the Best 4-Year Higher Education Institution on the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Center for Green Schools “Best of Green Schools 2012” list. The second annual ranking recognizes top educational institutions and individuals across the country for embracing environmental initiatives.
“Year after year we continue to be blown away by the ingenuity and innovation of communities across the country and around the world,” says Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “In these challenging economic times, we’ve seen an impressive commitment on the part of schools, communities, and leaders to make the places where our children learn healthy and safe, while putting money back into the classrooms where it belongs.”
Oberlin College is recognized as the Best 4-Year Higher Education Institution for its “innovative curriculum, research and work opportunities, and educational events and programming” that “aim to engage all member of its community in sustainability issues.”
The USGBC highlights many aspects of Oberlin’s commitment to sustainability and environmentalism, including five Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings, the largest solar array of any private, four-year liberal arts college in the United States, student work opportunities such as living machine operators, the Green Ecological Design and General Efficiency (EDGE) Fund, a responsible investing student group, and the Recycled Products and Bike Co-ops. In addition, USGBC praises the city and college’s commitment to become one of the first climate positive cities in the country with the Clinton Foundation Climate Positive Development Program.
“We want sustainability to be the default condition on campus, where it becomes just the way we live and work, and how we do things at Oberlin,” says Rob Lamppa, Oberlin’s director of sustainability and energy management. “This award recognizes our continued efforts to move in this direction. We need to keep leading by example, as we all have a stake in this."
In the past five years alone, Oberlin has received much recognition for its work in environmentalism and sustainability, including a first place ranking in both Sierra magazine’s Top 10 “Coolest Schools” and The Daily Beast’s “Greenest Schools” list; the highest grade on the College Sustainability Report Card, an annual report published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute; and a gold ranking from the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a new program from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Visit the Center for Green Schools website for more information.
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