Cal Poly Pomona’s cool quotient continues to climb.
Placing 44th out of 173 universities on the Sierra Club’s Cool Schools for 2014 list, Cal Poly Pomona moved up five places from last year.
Kyle D. Brown, director of the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies and chair of the university’s Sustainability Task Force, says that better data helped boost the rating.
“For the first time we included information about the state of sustainable wages on our campus, and had much more comprehensive data on community engagement to report,” he says. “We also saw significant gains in the area of faculty research and purchasing.”
The university received full credit for innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. Cal Poly Pomona obtained credit for its freshman housing requirement, as well as a number of recent projects undertaken by the Lyle Center, including the Regenerative Communities Initiative. The initiative places Cal Poly Pomona students in elementary school classrooms to teach environmental science and sustainable practices.
Cal Poly Pomona ranked higher than all CSU campuses except Cal State Chico, which was 39th.
The Cool Schools list is open to all four-year universities, and each school that submits data will be ranked.
The survey is a collaboration of four organizations: the Sierra Club, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI), and the Princeton Review.
The AASHE gave Cal Poly Pomona its first gold rating last April, which is a testament to the university’s continued dedication to sustainability.
“We continue to reduce our environmental footprint and make improvements in data collection and reporting,” Brown says. “We’re pleased to have moved up in the rankings.”