Humboldt a ‘Cool School’ - Humboldt State Now

Humboldt a ‘Cool School’

For the second consecutive year, Humboldt State University lived up to its green reputation by being named #81 in the Sierra Club magazine’s annual ranking of eco-savvy colleges.

Earning top marks in curriculum and waste management, HSU is among 282 best “Cool Schools” for sustainability and environmental conservation.

For the past 13 years, colleges in the United States and Canada have been invited to participate in Sierra’s annual contest. To participate, each institution must have earned a valid STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System) ranking of 2.0 or higher in the past three years. In 2017, HSU earned a STARS gold rating for its sustainability programs.

Sierra then compares the STARS rankings to data from each college on environmental practices, energy usage, and their commitment to sustainability on everything from cafeteria compost to campus activism.

HSU showed strong marks across the board. The University topped #7 Colby College in waste management practices. HSU also earned higher than average scores in food and dining and research.

From student-led initiatives and curriculum to campus organizations and projects, HSU has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility. For example, hundreds of classes incorporate issues related to sustainability, and many majors include a focus on the environment or social responsibility. In 1987, students created the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, which has been used by more than 100 universities worldwide. In 2012, HSU became the first public university in California to stop selling single-use plastic water bottles. The student-run Campus Center for Appropriate Technology is an eco-demonstration home, and the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund supports student-designed energy-efficiency upgrades across campus.

See the Sierra Club magazine’s annual ranking. Read more about HSU’s ban on single-use plastic water, Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund, and HSU’s green endeavors from the Office of Sustainability.