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August 2015

Santa Clara University Makes the Top 50 in Sierra Magazine's "Cool Schools" for 2015

Santa Clara University Makes the Top 50 in Sierra Magazine's "Cool Schools" for 2015

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 14, 2015 -- Santa Clara University has made the top 50 for the third consecutive year as one of Sierra magazine's "Cool Schools" for 2015. The Sierra Club's official magazine ranks universities that lead sustainability initiatives and make an effort to protect and preserve the environment.

SCU finished at number 50 on the list this year with a score of 664.24 out of 1000. Scoring factors included the amount of faculty and departments engaged in sustainability-related research, peer-to-peer educator programs, renewable energy, alternative transportation, potable water conservation, and pre and post- consumer foo d waste composting.

The collaborative work of our students, staff, and faculty across campus is the main reason why our university has been consistent in innovating and improving upon a number of campus sustainability projects, says Director of Sustainability Lindsey Kalkbrenner. We want to continue to strengthen the culture of sustainability for our students, employees, and visitors.

The 2015-16 academic year is the 10th anniversary of SCU sustainability program. The University introduced a sustainability minor and has a number of events scheduled, including a large conference in November to discuss Pope Francis Laudato Si encyclical in the context of Silicon Valley.

I am looking forward to the new partnerships that will be formed this year and the continuing collaboration to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world, Kalkbrenner says.

Santa Clara unique approach to sustainability is rooted in its mission as a Jesuit university. The University places a priority on integrating social justice and sustainability to illustrate the connections among a healthy environment, just societies, and a vibrant economy that meet all people fundamental needs, especially those of the global poor. More than 780 classes incorporate sustainability, and nearly 100 faculty conduct sustainability-related research.

The Sierra Magazine Cool Schools list is the result of a self-reported survey that is open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. A total of 153 schools completed the extensive questionnaire through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment Rating System (STARS) of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master universities, California oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact

Tina Vossugh | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5126

Press Release, Sustainability