Volunteers planted two new trees on campus as part of UofL's Arbor Day celebration.
Volunteers planted two new trees on campus as part of UofL's Arbor Day celebration.

The University of Louisville has notched another high-profile achievement for sustainability among higher education institutions in Kentucky.

The Sierra Club this week released its annual “Cool Schools” rankings of North American colleges and universities, recognizing gains related to teaching, studying and acting for a more livable world. At No. 84 on the list, UofL is the highest-ranked Kentucky institution.

“We all knew UofL was a cool school is so many ways, but this year’s list from Sierra Club confirms that we are the coolest in the Commonwealth,” said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. 

Rankings are based on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) used by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) to gauge progress in environmental, social and economic stewardship. This year, UofL also had the highest STARS rating of any college or university in Kentucky.

 “This is the 10th year we have cracked the top 100 on the Sierra Club’s list,” Mog said. “Our accomplishments in this area are a testament to the dedication of our administration, faculty, staff and students. They also remind us that we are part of a global movement to tackle the greatest crisis facing humanity by taking action on campus against global climate disruption right here in our classrooms, labs, offices and landscapes.”

Justin Mog
Justin Mog

The Sierra Club, the oldest grassroots environmental group in the United States, awards points to schools in areas such as energy, food, transportation, waste, academics and research. UofL earned high marks for campus and public engagement as well as curriculum.

Participation in the Sierra Club’s ranking is open to all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, along with two-year community colleges. The club ranked a total of 282 institutions for 2019.

Want to help continue the momentum? Go online for information on all the different ways students, faculty and staff can help UofL achieve its sustainability goals. UofL’s annual Sustainability Week is Oct. 17-25, featuring events to celebrate, raise awareness and promote engagement issues of environmental, social and economic justice.

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Janet Cappiello covers the College of Business, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Sustainability Council and military initiatives for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since March 2014.