Bloomberg Businessweek Rankings are used by prospective students as a way to gauge the overall quality of a school they may be interested in with respect to others. The site ranks both undergraduate and graduate institutions, and also analyzes individual programs and specialties. While past ranked disciplines range from teaching to agriculture, never has there been a ranking with respect to specifically green programs. However, as of August 14th 2012, the site is now beginning to rank such specialties in their “Green College Rankings.” According to the Bloomberg site, “The survey was conducted by the Sierra Club, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and Princeton Review, which combined their separate sustainability rankings into one Businesswek ranking for the first time.
According to the survey, the greenest school in all the land is the University of California, Davis a result from pouring in resources both financially and in time into their sustainability initiatives. Examples of their efforts include, “trash diversion, an initiative to keep garbage out of landfills by recycling, reusing, or composting it, the use of sustainable foods, and the promotion of bikes on campus (which amazingly resulted in over 20,000 bikes being used). Other schools who made the top five include the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Washington, and the University of Connecticut,
In short, these rankings are a tremendous boost to the green movement as well as for prospective students. This information was not available when I was looking into schools, and while the “green rankings” may not have ultimately been the main reason I would have gone to a particular school, it would have nonetheless planted a seed in my mind as to which universities were ahead of the curve, and who actually cared about a planet. This ranking also provides another criterion in which schools can stand out. Publishing yearly green rankings will provoke schools to think and act in terms of sustainability, and will provide them an incentive not only in saving the planet, but also in raising their overall ranking. The prospective student ultimately benefits from transparent data of a school’s sustainability initiatives within a ranking format, which may help that individual in making their decision on where to go to college. Overall, the green rankings have the ability to help both schools and students alike, and will aid in promoting a lifestyle in which we all live green, and be green.