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Pacific students studying intro to environmental studies devoted a unit to food production issues, during which they planted lettuce in the Ted and Chris Robb Garden and made salad in the Pacific Kitchen Co-Op.

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Pacific News

We knew it already, but Pacific is a ‘Cool School’

Sierra Magazine lists university among the greenest in country
Aug 21, 2017

Sierra magazine today named University of the Pacific one of its top "Cool Schools" for the seventh consecutive year.

Pacific came in at No. 17 out of 227 schools in a ranking that assess the greenest colleges and universities in the country as measured by campus sustainability programs and curricula.

"The rankings show that sustainability is much broader than saving energy," said Jessica Bilecki, director of sustainability at Pacific. "It is a community effort in which we all have daily opportunities, whether in the classroom, an office or residence to contribute positively to sustainability at Pacific,"

Pacific's unique curricula such as a master's degree in food studies, minor in sustainability and experiential learning opportunities contribute to it being ranked so prominently.

"We continue to be inspired by the creative and innovative ways colleges and universities across the country are working to tackle the climate crisis and move toward a sustainable future," Jason Mark, Sierra magazine's editor in chief, said in releasing the ranking. "From powering campuses with clean energy to educating students on new methods of sustainability, it is this leadership that is driving positive change and helping to shape a future that is clean, just, and equitable for all."

Pacific was one of 27 colleges and universities in California to make the list, but one of just four in the top 20. Loyola Marymount University, UC Irvine and University of San Diego were the other three.

"Year after year, we continue to see young people leading the fight against the climate crisis and toward a 100 percent sustainable future. That's why students across the United States and in Puerto Rico are pushing their high schools and colleges to not only divest from fossil fuels but to commit to 100 percent localized clean energy," said Karissa Gerhke, national director of the Sierra Student Coalition. "The Sierra Student Coalition applauds these leaders and their schools for their innovation and leadership, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to do this important work."

The rankings are based on Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) scores, an international self-reporting tool administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Cool School rankings take into account co-curricular, energy, investments, food, innovation, academics/research, planning, purchasing, transit, waste and water.

For additional information on the university's sustainability efforts or tips on how to contribute, visit Sustaining Pacific's website. The full ranking of 227 colleges and universities, including each school's completed questionnaire, is online at

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