‘Sierra’ magazine names NAU as one of the nation’s ‘Coolest Schools’ for sustainability

'Sierra' magazine cover

Northern Arizona University earned a spot on Sierra magazine’s annual Coolest Schools survey, which recognizes the top 100 “greenest” colleges and universities across the United States.

The survey rated 162 schools according to their environmental practices, green initiatives and caliber of sustainability-oriented education.

Coming in at No. 62, NAU received especially high marks for its blending of academics and nature-based extracurricular activities. NAU also scored high in the areas of efficiency, administration and “other” initiatives.

The survey considered 10 categories for measuring a school’s commitment to sustainability: efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments and a catchall section titled “other initiatives.”

Heather Farley, coordinator for NAU’s Office of Sustainability, said the nod from Sierra magazine is welcome recognition for the sustainability initiatives that are a core part of the university’s Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan.

“We can take pride in knowing that NAU is a model for environmentally responsible and sustainable operations and education,” Farley said. “This is a great way to let the greater public know that NAU is leading the way in sustainability.”

Read the magazine’s overview on how it came up with its list of America’s greenest campuses, and view the complete list of all 162 schools that were ranked.