Among 407 participating universities from 65 countries, UConn has been ranked #2 in the 2015 UI GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities, and has maintained its #1 ranking among those with rural campuses. UI GreenMetric is an annual sustainability survey focusing on a combination of indicators including setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste management, water, transportation, and education. With a total score of 7,156, UConn ranked highest among its peers in energy and climate change, with strong scores in the education and setting and infrastructure categories, as well. The energy and climate change section is weighed most heavily in the ranking, as it encompasses a wide range of indicators including green building, greenhouse gas emissions reduction policy, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. It is also important to note that this was the first year that the GreenMetric survey included a carbon footprint evaluation as part of its criteria.
Nearly 50 more schools participated in 2015 than in 2014, yet UConn still succeeded in moving up in ranking from #7 to #2. This we attribute to a variety of efforts and accomplishments. As a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), recently renamed Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment, UConn made a promise to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050. Thereafter, all decisions regarding campus projects have been made with greenhouse gas emissions in mind, outlined in our Climate Action Plan. Apart from the presence of a wide range of sustainability initiatives at UConn, we attribute much of our success in the ranking to the diligence and cooperation of those involved in obtaining and compiling all of the data and information into concise, yet comprehensive, responses.