Congratulations to UCSB for earning the top ranking of the greenest public universities in the nation. The university came in third on the overall ranked list, but was the only public school among those top picks. Online Schools Center (a web resource used for researching universities) pulled past rankings from various organizations including the Sierra Club, the Princeton Review, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. News & World Report, and included other criteria as well that determined the rankings.
Andrew Krupa, the Bren School Assistant Dean of Development, credits the university for linking students, faculty, and staff in implementing a variety of green initiatives. UCSB currently implements several sustainable campus programs ranging from water conservation, waste management, and sustainable food systems.
Our very own Bren School of Environmental Science & Management was given credit for strongly influencing UCSB’s impressive ranking. In one notable example, UCSB’s recently-adopted Water Action Plan, a comprehensive plan that highlights best management practices for managing water consumption on campus, was born from a Bren School Group Project in 2013. “UCSB has drawn on the incredible talent of Bren students to design both water and climate action plans for the campus that I believe will be models for universities across the nation,” said Dean Gaines.
Moreover, Bren Hall is the nation’s first building to earn two LEED Platinum certifications. The building’s rooms and halls represent the state of the art in terms of energy-efficient lighting and climate-control systems, water conservation through the use of reclaimed water for toilets and irrigation, and the use of recycled and sustainable materials. The carpets, lab casework, rubber flooring, fabrics, wallboard, tiles, ceiling tiles and grids, furniture, and insulation are all made with high recycled content.
The Bren School was also recognized by Net Impact in September 2014 as the top school for environmental sustainability – a high honor.
UCSB was able to achieve this recognition despite the monetary constraints and necessary frugality that are imposed on public universities. “The fact that we can achieve the highest ranking helps other institutions see that it really doesn’t take funding to be sustainable, it takes participation,” stated Mo Lovegreen, UCSB’s Director of Campus Sustainability.
Andrew Krupa belives that “UCSB can not only compete but surpass the traditional private institutions that previously dominated such rankings. It will raise the visibility of UCSB both nationally and internationally.”