POULTNEY, Vt., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sierra magazine has recognized Green Mountain College for its innovative efforts in sustainability, ranking GMC as the greenest college in the nation in its annual "Coolest Schools" feature. The cover story in the magazine's September/October issue cites GMC for its commitment to sustainability in several categories including energy efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, and financial investments.
"Green Mountain College excels in most categories, and it's the MVP when it comes to creativity. The campus gets power and heat from biomass and biogas (a.k.a. cow power)," the magazine said, referring to GMC's new combined heat and power biomass plant and the College's participation in Central Vermont Public Service's Cow Power program, which converts cow manure on Vermont farms to methane gas, a renewable source of energy. No school scored a perfect 100 in the assessment; GMC came closest at 88.6.
"Green Mountain established its environmental liberal arts mission in 1995, so we are an 'early adapter' in responding to the social and environmental challenges of our times," said GMC president Paul J. Fonteyn. "Through our Environmental Liberal Arts program, we've sought to provide an education that emphasizes sustainability across all disciplines. This recognition is a testament to all the hard work of a whole generation of students, faculty and staff."
Fonteyn noted that construction of the school's new biomass plant resulted from a strong collaboration among students, faculty, College administrators, and the Board of Trustees. The new plant will use locally-sourced woodchips to provide 85% of the school's heat and generate 20% of its electricity. Through this project and several other initiatives, GMC expects to be the first college in the country to reach carbon neutrality after having reduced carbon emissions by more than 50%.
Green Mountain College received several other accolades for sustainability practices in recent months. The College received a score of 98 out of a perfect 99 in the Princeton Review's annual college "green" rankings included in the 2011 edition of The Best 373 Colleges. GMC announced in June that SAGE (Students for Academic and Green Engagement) Hall, the College's recently renovated honors residence hall, was designated as a LEED® gold certified building by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Sierra's September/October cover story spotlights the schools that are making a difference for the planet, and marks the magazine's fourth annual listing of America's greenest universities and colleges. The complete list is available online at http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201009/coolschools/top100.aspx. To learn more about what GMC is doing to make its campus more sustainable, visit http://www.greenmtn.edu/sustainability.aspx.
SOURCE Green Mountain College