UC Davis Named Most Sustainable University in the World

Photo: Garden with flowers atop roof.
Our green campus includes rooftop gardens like this one, at the LEED-platinum Segundo Services Center. Rooftop plots absorb sunlight that would otherwise be converted to heat energy, provide extra insulation and capture rainwater, thus reducing storm runoff. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • University of Indonesia’s seventh annual GreenMetric ranking looks at more than 500 colleges and universities
  • Ranking assesses environmentally friendly operations, as well as research and education on sustainability
  • Buses and bikes contribute to UC Davis' top score in transportation; campus earns perfect score in waste handling

The University of California, Davis, is the greenest university in the world, as declared today (Dec. 29) by the seventh annual GreenMetric ranking from the University of Indonesia.

UC Davis held the third position in last year’s UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, and emerged No. 1 in the 2016 assessment of 516 colleges and universities in 74 countries for environmentally friendly campus operations and policies, and research and education on sustainability.

“This ranking not only reaffirms our standing as a global leader in sustainability but also demonstrates our continuing commitment,” Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter said. “All the credit goes to our staff, faculty and students for being so dedicated to this cause.”

In another year-end environmental achievement, UC Davis earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest LEED rating for the new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. It is the ninth UC Davis project to be platinum-certified in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

UC Davis is also a top-10 “Cool School” in Sierra magazine’s ranking of America’s greenest colleges and universities. In fact, UC Davis has been in the “Cool School” top 10 for five out of the last six years.

GreenMetric indicators

In claiming the GreenMetric’s top ranking with a score of 8,398 (out of 10,000), UC Davis scored well ahead of the second- and third-place schools: University of Nottingham (England), 8,079; and Wageningen University (Netherlands), 7,658.

Three other UCs are in the ranking: Berkeley, eighth; Merced, 67th; and Riverside, 141st.

Biking at UC Davis
UC Davis has two platinum rankings from the League of American Bicyclists, as a Bicycle Friendly University and a Bicycle Friendly Business.

UC Davis ranked first among the participating colleges and universities for transportation, including bus and bicycle use, and earned a perfect score in the waste category, for waste reduction and recycling, among other factors.

Other criteria included renewable energy (notably, UC Davis generates 14 percent of its power supply from the new solar farm south of Interstate 80), and energy efficiency and water conservation.

The ranking also looked at green building implementation (UC Davis has 23 LEED projects, as well as the largest planned zero-net energy community in the nation, West Village).

Finally, in education, the ranking looked at such factors as published research on sustainability and number of courses related to sustainability (250).

The GreenMetric ranking for 2016 is available on the UI GreenMetric website.

Media Resources

Kimberly Hale, News and Media Relations, 530-752-9838, klhale@ucdavis.edu

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