Cool Schools Ranking Criteria

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Energy (plant and renewable energy offsets categories):

1 – Coal-fired plant and no renewable energy options

2 – No coal plant, but no renewable energy;

Natural gas plant and/or minor renewable energy (solar thermal)

Coal plant, but renewable options

3 – some renewable energy, including minor solar PV and wind

4 – major renewable energy including solar PV production and geothermal systems

5 – plant that runs off alt. fuels, major renewable energy production, offset purchases

Energy Conservation Measures:

1 – None

2 – Awareness/education program and other minor measures (replacing lights, turning

down thermostats, trayless dining halls, energy audits)

3 – Presidents Climate Commitment participant; more substantial majors (HVAC system

upgrades, stormwater capture, converting vehicle fuel sources, solar thermal); in

process of performance contracts/initiatives (ex. 25% reduction goal by 2015)

4 – Performance contracts completed with major savings (ex. 25% energy savings); not

a PCC signee, but major conservation efforts in place (ex. retrofitting that saves 5               mil kWh/year, reduced energy use 31% in last 7 years)

5 – PCC; Significant short-term savings and substantial long-term goals

(ex. 25% electricity and 20% gas in next 5 years; 80% greenhouse gas reduction

by 2020)


1 – No local or organic food purchased

2 – Less than 10% local/organic; small garden or a market

3 – 10-25% local/organic; campus garden; farmers market

4 – 25-50% local/organic food; farmland (larger than a garden) that produces food

5 – more than 50% local/organic food purchased; significant farmland for campus food

Alternative Transportation:

1 – No alternative transportation/incentives provided

2 – Encourages carpooling/alt. transportation and other minor measures

3 – Alt. energy encouragement/incentives, free campus transit system or provides shuttles to towns (if not large enough for campus transit)

4 – Alt. energy encouragement/incentives, campus transit, access to city transit, some alt. energy campus vehicles,

5 – Zipcars/bike sharing, campus and city transit, all campus vehicles run on alt. energy, flexible scheduling, cyclists showers


1 – No green building efforts

2 – some green building under way, no policy commitment

3 – policy/commitment to build sustainably, projects under way

4 – policy/commitment and some buildings already complete

5 – Policy/commitment, buildings complete and completing green renovations to existing



1 – No measures

2 – Recycling program (no details)

3 – Recycling program (waste diversion < 25%), Recyclemania

4 – Recycling program (waste diversion 25-50%, composting

5 – Recycling program (diversion > 50%), other major programs

Environmental Studies program

1 – No environmental programs in place

2 – Some courses that have sust. component

3 – ES Minor or majors that contain ES component

4 – ES Major and grad studies programs

5 – Significant ES education component, including mandatory classes, environmental research, significant student interest in environmental program, long-standing program history, and other environmental/sustainability majors (Outdoor Rec, eco-tourism, agroecology, environmental planning)

Green Space

1 – No response or nothing mentioned

2 – Mentions green space commitment, but no details

3 – A larger amount of green space; focus on pedestrian accessibility; native plant conversion

4 – More than half of campus is green space; nature centers; plans to increase green space (tree planting)

5 – Preserved green space (preserve, WMA, conservation easement, wetlands); campus has received awards for green space; native habitat restoration (more significant that restoring native plants)

Outdoor Recreation

1 – No options provided

2 – walking/biking trails or rec fields

3 – Outdoor Rec program,

4 – Rec program and major on-campus options beyond trails (climbing wall, disc golf course, trails that connect to larger trail system)

5 – Major on-campus recreation options (preserve, nature center, river, etc.); programs such as alternative spring break, summer wilderness classes and youth camps

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