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We're still a ‘Cool School’: top 10 three years in a row

8.14.2013

By Dateline staff

Photo: UC Davis Farmers Market

The UC Davis Farmers Market is featured in this photo provided by the university to Sierra magazine for its 2013 "Coolest Schools" feature. The market is held weekly on the Silo Patio, in fall and spring quarters. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

UC Davis is among the 10 “greenest” universities in the United States for the third year in row, as declared by the Sierra Club magazine.

Sierra has been publishing its “Coolest Schools” rankings for seven years, saluting institutions “that are helping to solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably.”

UC Davis broke into the top 10 as No. 8 in 2011; claimed the “No. 1 Cool School” title last year; and came in at No. 4 this year.

This “agricultural-education powerhouse churns out research that helps shape California’s water laws and push new farming practices into the mainstream,” Sierra says of UC Davis in the 2013 “Coolest Schools” feature, in the magazine’s September-October issue.

UC Davis West Village is America's biggest planned zero-net-energy community, the magazine continues, and the university’s climate action plan has already cut campus emissions to below year-2000 levels.

Sierra also touts UC Davis’ recycling, composting and reuse, all of which combine to divert more than 60 percent of would-be trash from the landfill, “and the Aggies aim to lift that percentage to 100 by 2020.”

For the latest rankings, Sierra examined 162 academic institutions viewed as making a difference for the planet in all categories of “greenness,” from food sources for the dining halls and what’s being taught in the classrooms, to what’s powering the dorm rooms.

As for the last category, UC Davis is doing something so cool that it’s hot: Steam vapor formerly lost to the atmosphere will heat the Tercero 3 residence hall project (set to open next year).

See all the rankings.

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