America’s greenest schools COA makes the top 20

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic is one of the greenest schools in the country, according to “Sierra” magazine, a publication of the Sierra Club.

COA rings in at #17 in the group’s annual “Cool Schools” ranking of America’s greenest colleges and universities. The coastal Maine college is cited for displaying a deep, thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues and encouraging environmental responsibility. Their 2014 ranking was #67.

COA joins Maine’s Colby College and Vermont’s Middlebury College and Green Mountain College as the four New England schools to make the top 20. Some of the factors that contributed to such high placement were waste systems that divert trash away from landfills, water and energy conservation initiatives and eco-focused academic programs, officials said.

COA President Darron Collins said that while it is a thrill to be recognized for a strong environmental commitment, COA measures their success by how well they inspire students to carry the banner of sustainability out into the wider world.

“Coming from an organization with the historical depth of the Sierra Club, this green rating is quite an honor,” Collins said. “But being green is not about how many solar panels we can plaster on campus; it’s about what learning outcomes emerge from having students design, build, site and fund those projects.”

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