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Sierra Magazine Names UC San Diego
a ‘Cool’ School for Going Green

Aug 13, 2010

By Christine Clark

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UC San Diego is ranked 15th in the nation for its commitment to sustainability by Sierra magazine, a publication of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental group.

Sierra magazine has named the University of California, San Diego among the nation’s top 20 “coolest” schools for its efforts to stop global warming and operate sustainably.  From the university’s new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold and silver certified buildings to sustainable engineering classes, the magazine highlights how UC San Diego is making a true difference for the planet in the fourth annual listing of America’s greenest universities and colleges.  Sierra magazine is a publication of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental group. 

“With all of the environmental challenges we face, it’s heartening to see the leadership that schools like UC San Diego demonstrate when it comes to protecting the planet,” said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director.  “This generation of students cares deeply about protecting the environment, stopping global warming and increasing our prosperity through innovation.”
The campus is ranked 15th on the list for its commitment to sustainability.  The rankings measured universities’ energy efficiency, academics, transportation, waste management, financial investments and other initiatives.

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UC San Diego also made the issue’s “cool schools” list for its status as one of the nation’s top surfing schools.

“UC San Diego has taken dramatic steps to curb climate change and spread awareness about the importance of building a sustainable future,” said Gary Matthews, the university’s vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning.  “This recent recognition by the Sierra Club is a testament to the continued, collaborative efforts between faculty, staff and students who bring sustainability to life through education, research and campus operations.”

The campus was recognized for its efforts to reduce energy usage and increase reliance upon renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaics, fuel cells, wind and algal biofuels.  UC San Diego currently has 1.2 megawatts of solar photovoltaics installed on campus and has ordered an additional 1 megawatt of solar photovoltaics. 

The university was also credited for its variety of student groups who educate and promote sustainability on campus, such as the Green Campus program, EcoNauts, AQUAholics and the Student Sustainability Collective.  

Even the dining halls played a role.  According to the September/October issue of Sierra magazine, “the university’s sustainability initiatives at UC San Diego’s dining halls offer ‘Meatless Mondays’ to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  No matter what day it is, 35 percent of the school’s cafeteria food is organic.”

In addition, UC San Diego’s initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through its various forms of alternative transportation were honored.  More than half of the university’s staff, students and faculty take advantage of UC San Diego’s innovative free bus zone passes, the Triton Bike Loan program, carpool and van pool programs, subsidized Coaster Train program and campus shuttle services.

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UC San Diego alumnus Marty Weinstein won the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) men's college championship in 2009.

UC San Diego also made the issue’s “cool schools” list for its status as one of the nation’s top surfing schools.  “The ocean is just across the street from UC San Diego, so the school’s surf team is superior,” Sierra magazine noted.  

“Members get a coveted gate key to the legendary Black’s Beach, where they meet at dawn throughout the school year.  Casual wave riders can join UC San Diego’s noncompetitive Surf Club or take a recreational surfing class.”

Visit http://sustainability.ucsd.edu to learn more about UC San Diego’s sustainability efforts.  For a complete description of each winning school’s green efforts, visit Sierra magazine online at http://www.sierraclub.org/coolschools.

Media Contact: Christine Clark, 858-534-7618, ceclark@ucsd.edu

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