State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry:



The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) made it into the top 5 of Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools list. For the fifth year in a row, the College has been named one of the best “cool schools” in the country according to the Sierra Club National Magazine’s ranking. Sierra places the college at No. 5 out of 328 schools surveyed.

“This ranking is a testament to the dedication and motivation of our students, faculty and staff to solving the pressing environmental issues facing the world today,” said ESF President Joanie Mahoney. “I am happy to see the College recognized for its work in building a sustainable and resilient future. There is a lot of work to be done and I have no doubts that our current and future students are up to the task.

ESF is the highest ranked school in the SUNY system and one of only two schools in New York State in the top 70. ESF has gained a spot this year from the # 6 ranking of 2020.

ESF was ranked highly for its commitment to tackling climate change, protecting the environment, and encouraging environmental responsibility both through its campus operations and course programs.

Calling ESF “the coolest school in the vast New York State university system,” the College was credited with establishing the NYS Center for Sustainable Materials, for influencing state policy in terms of green procurement and for working to create the SUNY Institute for Climate Change, through which the 64 campuses can focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation actions.

Using a personalized grading system, Sierra researchers ranked colleges and universities based on academic criteria such as an environment-focused curriculum, student engagement with environmental activism, operations such as renewable energy production and waste management, and school planning and administration standards. Raw data for scoring comes from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education STARS self-assessment tool.

Participation in Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools Rankings is open to all four-year graduate undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, as well as two-year community colleges. This is the fourth year that the rankings are open to two-year schools.

In 2021, Sierra received 328 full responses from qualified institutions. After schools submitted their data, Sierra researchers scored each response and ranked each of the participating institutions.

This press release was produced by SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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