Sierra Club names Babson to its 2012 List of America’s Coolest Schools, a ranking based on sustainability efforts.

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For the second year in a row, Babson College was named to Sierra Club’s 2012 List of America's Coolest Schools, a ranking of the nation’s most eco-friendly college campuses.

Babson College, strongly committed to nurturing an environmentally conscious campus, takes a fully holistic approach to sustainability. Babson works to integrate social and environmental sustainability concepts into the education of the world’s next generation of business leaders through educating and engaging students, staff, and faculty around sustainability as a community value, modeling good long-term sustainable business management, and fostering an environment that encourages the exploration, implementation and evaluation of new ideas, businesses and processes that improve sustainability.

The ranking, open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States, reflects colleges’ ongoing efforts to be sustainable and environmentally aware campuses. The Sierra Clubs ratings, based on surveys by more than 100 schools, are divided into eleven categories: co-curricular, education and research, energy, transport, waste, water, purchasing, food, planning, investing and innovation.

Babson’s commitments and actions towards sustainability include:

  • Babson is a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, exercising leadership in the Babson community and throughout society by modeling ways to eliminate global warming emissions.
  • The development of a Climate Action Plan that will work to define Babson’s approach to achieving Carbon Neutrality in measurable ways during a specified timeframe is available online at the ACUPCC website.
  • Participation in the most extensive rating program for sustainability in higher education and has achieved a silver rating - Babson is currently ranked one of the top 125 sustainable colleges and universities by STARS.
  • In 2010, Babson opened its Office of Sustainability (@BabsonSustain) and since then has implemented programs to raise awareness and encourage actions on campus to support these programs. Through the creation of new policies, donation station, communications and activities revolving around sustainability, Babson was able to accomplish a campus decrease in waste output by 68.77 tons.
  • Babson’s ‘Eco Reps’ (@BabsonEcoRep) have worked in conjunction with the sustainability office to provide more cohesive marketing and organization around sustainability efforts on campus.
  • Babson reduced 37 tons of end of year waste through a new Green Move Out initiative. The campaign’s success led to an overall waste reduction of nearly 29 % associated with end-of-the –year student move out year-over-year and increased the move out recycling rate by 12.63 tons.
  • This year, Babson graduates took the Graduation Pledge to become a part of a global community of responsible women and men who are committed to improving society and the environment through the workplace. Signatories wore a pledge ribbon on their gowns during commencement as a public display of their intent to fulfill the graduation commitment.
  • Babson has implemented a multi-million dollar series of energy conservation projects during the past two years to reduce energy consumption in support of Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant’s (WMLP) goals and to encourage our faculty, students, and staff to support sustainability in numerous ways.

“Taking part in external reporting, such as Sierra Cool Schools, helps us to benchmark against our peers. It is representative of the fact that Babson is working to enhance its comprehensive sustainability initiatives and is excited to showcase our achievements to the outside community,” said Dallase Scott, Sustainability Program Manager at Babson.

The magazine's ranking acts as a guide for prospective students who seek a way to compare colleges, based on commitment to environmentalism. The ranking also serves to spur competition, create aspirational standards, and publicly reward the institutions that work hard to protect the planet. Members of Sierra's editorial team constructed the survey with guidance from the Sierra Club's Conservation department, as well as from campus sustainability experts. Its questions center on environmental goals and achievements, with priority given to achievements.

Starting in 2010, Babson recognized that additional resources and expertise would be needed to achieve the college’s objective of becoming a leader in campus sustainability. Since that time, Babson opened its sustainability office and has successfully implemented and promoted green programs and initiatives, creating a more environmentally conscious campus. Accomplishing a great amount in a short period of time, going forward Babson hopes to continue to enhance and improve their current sustainability efforts by continuing to educate, engage, and excite students, staff, and faculty around sustainably while reducing waste impacts, maximizing resources efficiency, and modeling long-term sustainable business management.

View the full list of "cool schools."

By Hilary Katulak, , 781-239-4623 | 08/27/2012 07:00