We’re 11th in ‘Top 50 Green Colleges’

A student's shadow is seen on a bike path.
Students raved about UC Davis' bike paths in a recent ranking by The Princeton Review. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Roll out the green carpet: UC Davis is ranked 11th among The Princeton Review’s “Top 50 Green Colleges” for 2018, our fourth consecutive year on the list.


The University of California is the recipient of a Green Power Leadership Award for the second consecutive year. The Environmental Protection Agency presents the awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions.

Last year’s award was for “Excellence in Green Power Use.” This year’s award is in the category of “Direct Project Engagement,” specifically noting how UC had increased its voluntary green power use by 40 percent systemwide, completed 12 new on-site solar projects, hosts more than 40 megawatts of on-site solar capacity with photovoltaic systems at every campus, and has a goal to be the first major research university system to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

The Davis campus accounts for 17 MW of the system’s on-site solar renewables, and has a 25 percent stake in 80 MW of off-site solar production.

In bestowing the award, the EPA also recognized UC for its use of renewable energy — ranking the university as fourth best among the agency's top-30 green power partners in higher education.

Read more in this UC news release.

Student comments figure in the rankings, and here is some of what the students had to say, as reported by The Princeton Review:

  • UC Davis students boast about belonging to a “green school” that “promotes sustainability.”
  • Students tell us that “even if you don’t have a car,” the “bike paths make it really easy to get around the city and campus.”
  • The “free, convenient bus systems” ensure there are “plenty of transportation options’ available to students.”

UC Davis is the highest-ranked UC campus in The Princeton Review’s “Top 50 Green Colleges.” Other UC campuses on the list: Santa Cruz, 16th; Santa Barbara, 25th; Riverside, 29th; and Berkeley, 32nd.

The Princeton Review, a test preparation, tutoring and college admission services company, derives its top-50 list from the company’s annual “green guide” of the most environmentally responsible colleges. For the 2018 guide, the ninth annual, The Princeton Review surveyed 648 colleges, asking them to report on their sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.

The company calculated “green rating” scores of 60 to 99 based on more than 25 weighted, data points — and all schools with scores of 80 or higher made it into to the guide, 399 colleges and universities in all. UC Davis scored 98.

To come up with the top 50, The Princeton Review factored in student-survey data — surveys that asked students to rate, for example, administrative and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; visibility and impact of student environmental groups; and how sustainability issues influenced the students’ education and life on campus.

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Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu

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