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Dickinson Is One of Sierra's Coolest Schools for 2020

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Dickinson Adds a Top 15 Ranking by Sierra to Its List of Latest Sustainability Accolades

Sierra today announced its 2020 Cool Schools ranking of North America’s greenest colleges, and Dickinson is ranked No. 14 among a record-breaking 312 submissions. Additionally, Dickinson is one of only two liberal arts colleges—and the Pennsylvania school—to make the top 15.  

Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, has been highlighting best environmental practices for colleges and universities for 14 years based on based on academic criteria, such as environmentally-focused curriculum, student engagement with environmental activism, renewable energy and waste management operations, and schools’ planning and administrative standards.

“We continue to be inspired by the creative and innovative ways that North American colleges and universities are furthering and deepening their work to address the climate crisis and create a sustainable future, even in light of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Katie O’Reilly, Sierra magazine’s adventure and lifestyle editor.

Additionally, Dickinson was ranked No. 6 among The Princeton Review's Top 50 Green Colleges for 2020, and Dickinson was named to the Green Honor Roll for receiving the highest possible score of 99 by The Princeton Review in its 2021 Green Rating, a comprehensive measure of a school's performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution. The Green Honor Roll is an accomplishment achieved by only 30 colleges and universities.

A school’s Green Rating is determined by measuring academic offerings and initiatives, campus policies and practices and green-career preparation for students. “Sustainability adds tremendous value to the Dickinson experience,” said Neil Leary, director of the Center for Sustainability Education. “By testing, adapting and improving strategies for advancing sustainability on campus, in Carlisle and in communities abroad, our students gain critical skills for solving complex problems and working for the common good.”

Dickinson is a long-recognized national leader in sustainability education and sustainable campus operations—leadership highlighted by carbon neutrality. Arguably one of Dickinson’s most significant achievements in its 237-year history, zero net-carbon emissions was a goal set in 2007 and achieved in 2020, making Dickinson one of the first 10 carbon-neutral colleges in the nation.  

A comprehensive look at Dickinson’s road to carbon neutrality as well as other recent initiatives that entwine sustainability, global education, civic learning and social justice initiatives, can be found in the college’s 2020 Sustainability Report.

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Published September 28, 2020