Campus Sustainability Recognized by the Sierra Club

August 31, 2017
Wells received a “Cool Schools” ranking in recognition of sustainability academics and planning.
students and staff coordinating on planting project

Sierra Club has included Wells on its listing of "Cool Schools," a ranking of institutions that promote sustainability values and practices in higher education. Wells placed 150th among participating colleges and universities, with high marks in academics (#17 overall) and planning (#16). Other areas that are measured include energy, food, transportation, innovation, and co-curricular programs.

The "Cool Schools" listings are based on scoring by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). The Wells College Center for Sustainability and the Environment took the lead on collecting the college's data and spearheading our participation in the ranking; the College earned a silver STARS rating on our 2016 assessment.

"We've come a long way in a short time," said Marian Brown, Director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment. "Things like completing the STARS assessment help us identify areas that we can work on and come up with brand new projects to reduce waste and promote better practices on campus."

The Sierra Club began its rankings in 2006 with 10 schools—in 2017, that number has expanded to 239 colleges and universities. According to its announcement, the "Cool Schools" listings have "encouraged a culture of transparency around sustainability initiatives" and, rather than a competition among participants, "students and administrators stress that they want to be copied, to have every school tie for number one."

The Wells Center for Sustainability and the Environment was established in 2014 as the hub for sustainability education across disciplines and the catalyst for campus sustainability efforts at the College. To learn more, visit

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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