The University of California, Davis, maintains its “greenest-in-the-U.S.” status in the 2018 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings.
The rankings from the University of Indonesia have UC Davis holding onto the No. 3 spot overall, behind No. 1 Wageningen University and Research Center, Netherlands; and No. 2. University of Nottingham, United Kingdom — the same top three in the same order as last year.
That makes UC Davis the GreenMetric leader in the United States for the second year in a row. Only one other U.S. institution made this year’s top 10: the University of Connecticut, in the 10th spot.
“We are so pleased to be recognized again,” said Camille Kirk, director of the UC Davis Office of Sustainability, noting that UC Davis has been ranked in the GreenMetric top five since 2014. “I believe strongly in the value of performance assessment and we use these sorts of assessments to better understand how we are doing, and what else we can do to improve and lead.”
The 9-year-old GreenMetric is also improving, Kirk said. “This international ranking continues to develop in rigor, and we appreciate that,” she said. Participation has also been climbing, from 95 universities in Year 1 to 719 universities in 81 countries this year.
GreenMetric officials describe their rankings system as the first and only one in the world to measure each participating school’s commitment to developing an “environmentally friendly” infrastructure.
In the category of setting and infrastructure, the rankings take into consideration such indicators as ratio of open space to total area, area of campus covered in planted vegetation and area on campus for water absorbance. For 2018, the questionnaire sent to universities went into more detail on efforts and programs to improve sustainability on campus.
Other categories and indicators:
- Energy and climate change — Smart buildings and green buildings, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
- Waste — Recycling, toxic waste handling and sewage disposal.
- Water — Conservation and recycling, and water-efficient appliances.
- Transportation — Ratio of total vehicles to total campus population, shuttle service and number of transportation initiatives to decrease private vehicles on campus.
- Education and research — Ratio of sustainability courses to total courses/subjects, number of published papers on the environment and sustainability, number of scholarly events related to the environment and sustainability, and the number of student organizations related to the environment and sustainability.