From: College of The Atlantic
Published August 14, 2007 10:16 AM

College of The Atlantic named “Greenest” of all Green Colleges & Universities

BAR HARBOR, ME- Grist Magazine, one of the most popular environmental media outlets, has just issued its first-ever list of top green colleges and universities in the world. College of the Atlantic heads that list.


COA’s number one billing, as the greenest college in the world, recognizes the college’s longstanding focus on sustainability, as well as its pledge of carbon neutrality last October. Says the Grist article, COA’s efforts, “kicked off quite a trend: Now more than 270 other U.S. colleges and universities . . . have pledged to do the same as part of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.”


Says David Hales, president of COA, who serves on the steering committee of ACUPCC, “being number one is nice, but the important message goes way beyond rankings. The important message is that higher education gets it-that sustainability will be the hallmark for successful institutions, colleges, governments, corporations and civil society for the rest of this century. The colleges on this list-and many others-are putting their money where their knowledge is, and teaching by doing.


According to Grist senior editor Lisa Hymas, the process of determining the world’s top green colleges and universities, ”involved researching, asking experts and consulting other rankings to get a broad picture of green activities on campuses.” Grist cited COA’s, “early carbon-neutrality pledge, which helped to kick off a nationwide trend.”


Based in Seattle, Wash., with an eight-year online history, Grist has become known for its in-depth coverage of environmental issues, spiced by a dose of humor. Just last week, the British newspaper, The Guardian, deemed Grist.org the world’s top environmental news website.


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College of the Atlantic, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Acadia National Park, was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is to enable students to actively participate in shaping its future. A leader in environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to education- human ecology-that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers who are able to lead all sectors of society to promote sustainable ecosystems while meeting compelling and growing human needs.


Sustainability has been a hallmark for the college since its first year, in 1972, when COA students were instrumental in getting Maine’s groundbreaking bottle bill into the legislature. Since then, the college has consistently incorporated sustainability into all its practices, from architecture to food systems to holding the first-known zero-waste graduation in 2005.


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