"Sierra" Magazine Names WSC to Top 100 “Cool Schools” for Environmental Sustainability
Aug. 19, 2010 -- “Sierra” magazine named Western State College of Colorado (WSC) to its 2010 list of Top 100 “Cool Schools” in recognition of its campus environmental sustainability initiatives.
Produced by the Sierra Club, the magazine ranked Western at No. 76. This is the magazine’s fourth year ranking colleges based on data received from surveys submitted by the schools to gauge their goals and achievements in areas such as energy supply, efficiency, academics, waste management and financial investments.
In the last decade, Western stepped up its commitment to environmental sustainability with several initiatives. In 2005, WSC President Jay Helman signed an Environmental Charter recognizing the college’s responsibility to improve environmental awareness, stewardship of natural resources and resource efficiency. Helman followed this by signing the President’s Climate Commitment, which commits Western to become a “carbon neutral” campus.
Additionally Western now has two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings -- the Borick Business Building (LEED silver) and Kelley Hall (LEED gold). The latter also houses a solar energy system, which was spearheaded by students via the college’s sustainability fund. The newly constructed College Center also is pending LEED certification.
A new Applied Institute for Sustainability is being offered for the first time this fall through the WSC Office of Extended Studies, and Western has declared the 2010-11 school year the “Year of Sustainability,” another student-led initiative.
“Western is working hard to be a leader in campus sustainability. Students have been crucial in helping us prioritize important environmental goals and implement creative programs such as our 2010-2011 Year of Sustainability,” noted Jessica Young, Western’s sustainability coordinator. “It is wonderful to see everyone’s hard work land us on the Sierra Club’s list of America’s ‘Cool Schools.’”