UW-Madison earns an "A" for sustainability efforts

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From a news release issued by the UW-Madison:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received the highest possible grade, an A, in a national college sustainability ranking released today.

The grade makes UW-Madison one of just seven schools, out of 322 campuses surveyed across the United States and Canada, to receive top marks on the College Sustainability Report Card 2011, an independent ranking prepared by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

UW-Madison was also named an Overall College Sustainability Leader for its high score.

The seven “A”s awarded this year are the first granted by the program since it began its rankings in 2006. In addition to UW-Madison, the other top-ranking schools are Brown University, Dickinson College, the University of Minnesota, Oberlin College, Pomona College, and Yale University.

“We have been working hard to make our campus more sustainable and we are very pleased with this reflection of our efforts,” says Faramarz Vakili, the UW-Madison director of sustainability operations. “But we are not going to rest until we know we are doing everything we can as a university to be a great steward of the environment and to make sustainability a state of mind and philosophy of operation in all aspects of the University’s research, education, operations, and community lifestyle.”

Schools were graded on 52 sustainability indicators across nine equally weighted categories: administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, transportation, student involvement, endowment transparency, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement. Teaching, research, and other academic activities were not included in this analysis.

UW-Madison earned “A”s in eight of the nine categories and a “B” in food and recycling. The report card specifically highlights the new campus-wide Sustainability Initiative, a 24 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006, sustainability efforts of numerous campus units, and the accomplishments of the We Conserve initiative.