Centre named one of ‘America’s Coolest Schools’ by the Sierra Club
Centre was recently named one of “America’s Coolest Schools” in the Sierra Club’s fifth annual ranking of the greenest colleges in the United States. Over 100 colleges comprise the list — but Centre is one of only fifteen of the top fifty colleges in the nation as ranked by US News & World Report to make the cut.
The Sierra Club list is open to all four-year colleges in the United States, and is compiled based on categories such as energy efficiency, food and waste practices, transportation and others.
Centre College is committed to sustainability efforts and environmentally sound practices. President John Roush has said, “This is one of the single-most important things we do: showing students what it is to live responsible lives as they relate to the environment.”
The College has made a particular effort toward going green over the past few years. All five of the building projects Centre has completed since 2005 — including Crounse Hall, Sutcliffe Hall, Pearl Hall, the Campus Center and Young Hall — have been constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
Pearl Hall, finished in 2008, became the first building in Kentucky to be LEED-Gold certified, the highest LEED rating for any residential facility in the state. The building was constructed with regional materials, uses a geothermal heat pump system and has many other sustainable design elements.
In 2010, Centre was given a Judges’ Choice Award in green education design by College Planning & Management in their annual Sustainability and Innovation Awards. The awards celebrate innovation and give schools and colleges a platform for sharing best practices and ideas in green design, and Centre was honored for its dedication to sustainable and responsible campus building construction.
In 2007, President Roush was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which has now been signed by more than 700 institutions. Through the pledge, Centre has committed to setting milestones and an eventual target date for becoming climate neutral, taking immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and more.
Also in 2007, 82 percent of students voted to adopt the Green Fund, a student-led initiative requiring each Centre student to pay a $20 surcharge to aid in the purchase of renewable energy credits from the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station nearby. The fund has been in effect at Centre since 2009.