SAN DIEGO, Aug. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of San Diego ranks 10th nationally on the 2017 "Cool Schools" list of the greenest colleges and universities in a study released today by Sierra magazine.
USD is the highest-ranking school in San Diego County for its efforts to protect the environment, address climate change issues, and promote sustainability.
"We are honored to receive this national recognition that reflects our efforts to respond to Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si' or 'On Care for Our Common Home'," said USD President James T. Harris. "USD has developed a bold and comprehensive plan to turn the Pope's call for dialogue into action, and this ranking is a testament to our ongoing sustainability efforts."
Demonstrating that sustainability and beauty can go hand in hand, USD was also recognized earlier this month as the Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation by The Princeton Review, and was one of only 24 universities in the country to earn a perfect score on its Green Rating, placing USD on The Princeton Review's prestigious Green Honor Roll.
In the past year, USD has created a Climate Action Plan, calling for the university to reduce electricity and natural gas use by 35 percent and increase its use of clean, renewable energy by 40 percent by 2035. In the short term, the university has continued to reduce electricity consumption, make use of solar energy, and operate an Electronics Recycling Center on campus
"Being recognized in the top 10 on the Cool School's list is truly a campus-wide effort and we continue to be grateful for the institutional support as we expand our sustainability efforts," said Michael Catanzaro, director of USD's Office of Sustainability.
Since 2010, USD has reduced campus energy consumption by more than 27 percent with verified projects through San Diego Gas & Electric totaling more than 10 million kilowatt hours in savings. The E-Recycling Center has collected and properly disposed of more than three million pounds of electronic waste since it opened in 2011.
USD's 1.23-megawatt solar power system provides 7 percent of the university's electricity needs. In 2016, the university also installed a Bloom Fuel Cell that provides the campus with approximately one-third of its electricity.
All of USD's efforts are connected to its Envisioning 2024 Strategic Plan as it looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in 2024.
View the entire Sierra Club's list here.
SOURCE University of San Diego