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August 12, 2014
Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications

Green Mountain College Earns Top Environmental Rankings from Sierra Magazine, Princeton Review

POULTNEY, VT—Green Mountain College continues to attract nationwide attention as one of the top colleges in the country for environmental programming and operations. Sierra magazine, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, announced today that Green Mountain College ranked eighth in the nation in its annual “Cool Schools” survey. Earlier this month, GMC received a perfect green rating of “99” in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review’s The Best 379 Colleges.

Sierra’s “Cool Schools” list recognizes colleges and universities that are creating tangible change in all categories of greenness – from what’s served in dining halls to what’s taught in lecture halls to what’s powering the dorms. This was the fourth time in five years that GMC has ranked among Sierra’s top ten schools.

“For eight years Sierra magazine has encouraged America's colleges and universities to fully embrace their unique and multifaceted role in tackling the climate crisis and protecting America's air, water, public health and beautiful places,” said Bob Sipchen, Sierra magazine’s editor in chief. “From innovative research and development to powering campuses with wind and solar, to educating students in the most advanced thinking on sustainability, colleges and universities are leaders and models for the rest of society. Sierra magazine congratulates those that made our annual ‘Coolest Schools’ list.”

GMC received a perfect “99” green rating in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review’s The Best 379 Colleges guide released last week. The Princeton Review tallied scores of 861 higher education institutions based on environmentally related practices, policies and academic offerings on a scale of 60 to 99. Only 24 colleges nationwide received a perfect score, and this was the third year in a row that GMC has made the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll.

"Green Mountain’s strategic plan, Sustainability 2020, keeps us on the cutting edge of sustainability in academic programs and operations," said Aaron Witham, Green Mountain College’s sustainability director. “Our students, staff, and faculty are always thinking about how to push us into the next frontier. Most recently, a student class project evolved into a campus policy to ban the sale of bottled water on campus.”

GMC is the first college in the nation to achieve climate neutrality through campus-wide efficiency, adoption of clean energy, and purchase of local carbon offsets. In 2010 the College opened a $5.8 million combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant to heat its campus buildings by using green woodchips, a sustainable and renewable local fuel source. In 2013, the Green Mountain College board of trustees approved divestment from 200 publicly traded companies, which hold most of the world’s known coal, oil and gas reserves.

Sierra's complete 2014 rankings, with comprehensive descriptions of each school's environmental efforts, are available at To learn more about what Green Mountain College is doing to make its campus more sustainable, visit the College's sustainability website at

Green Mountain College was founded in 1834 and takes environmental, social and economic sustainability as the organizing principal of its curriculum for undergraduate and graduate programs.

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