Green Universities: 25 Of The World's Greenest Campuses

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The world's greenest universities ranked by UI GreenMetric. | Shutterstock

When it comes to going green, some universities are taking on the world.

In its annual report, UI GreenMetric, a worldwide university ranking system, listed 215 of the world's most sustainable and eco-friendly campuses of 2012. Schools were ranked on areas of setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation and education.

Although most of the top spots belonged to universities in the United States and United Kingdom, there were also schools from Ireland, Sweden and Malaysia. Top schools had extensive programs in reducing their carbon footprint, campus-wide initiatives to eat (and grow) organic food and campaigns geared toward decreasing dependence on electricity.

This year, six Canadian universities made the list, include Ontario's University Of Ottawa and York University, along with Simon Fraser University, the University of Sherbrooke, Laval University and Acadia University.

And while you may think British Columbia's mountain landscapes or marine life in Nova Scotia equal an automatic interest in environmental policies, but a 2008 report found not all Canadian universities were practicing what they preached. The report, by Academic Matters Magazine, noted even though schools were seeing more students enroll in sustainability programs, few universities were actually applying their teaching methods on campus, no matter where they were located in the country, according to Maclean's Magazine.

UI GreenMetric's ranking of the lowest green scores in 2012 includes five universities from Indonesia, Austria, Turkey and Poland.

LOOK: The world's most eco-friendly university along with all the Canadian finalists. To see a full list of institutes, read the report here.

Greenest Universities In The World
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#146: Acadia University:
COUNTRY: Canada
SCORE: 4,494.29
GREEN THUMBS UP: At Acadia University, located in Wolfville, N.S., motor vehicles are banned from idling for longer than two minutes on school property.

#77: Simon Fraser University:
COUNTRY: Canada
SCORE: 5,434.94
GREEN THUMBS UP: On its Vancouver and Burnaby campuses, Simon Fraser has a total of seven green buildings, including a gym and the School of Business.

#42: Laval University :
COUNTRY: Canada
SCORE: 6,087.58
GREEN THUMBS UP: The university, located in Quebec City, has seen a 12 per cent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since installing an electric boiler in 2007.

#25: University of Indonesia:
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SCORE: 6,317.35
GREEN THUMBS UP: Get this: Besides being an absolute beautiful place to study, the University of Indonesia includes six lakes on campus.

#24: National Taipei University of Technology:
COUNTRY: Taiwan
SCORE: 6,384.91
GREEN THUMBS UP: Each year, the National Taipei University of Technology hosts a youth camp on nature conservation and green energy.

#23: University of Washington:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,430.12
GREEN THUMBS UP: On top of being voted one of America's greenest campuses, Seattle's UW also has three farms and a recycling centre.

#22: University of Bradford:
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
SCORE: 6,445.94
GREEN THUMBS UP: The University of Bradford, located in Yorkshire, U.K., includes green student housing equipped with solar panel water heating systems, recycling facilities and areas to grow vegetables.

#21: University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences:
COUNTRY: Austria
SCORE: 6,546.26
GREEN THUMBS UP: The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, or BOKU for short, offers courses in organic farming, forestry and food and fibre technology.

#20: Tel Aviv University:
COUNTRY: Israel
SCORE: 6,564.33
GREEN THUMBS UP: In 2011, the university announced its launch of the EcoBuilding, the campus's newest green project that includes a water recycling system and natural ventilation.

#19: Putra University, Malaysia:
COUNTRY: Malaysia
SCORE: 6,570.03
GREEN THUMBS UP: UPM is one of Asia's only universities that has made several worldwide green lists. The campus includes programs that cater to university-wide recycling and tree planting.

#18: Bangor University:
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
SCORE: 6,580.59
GREEN THUMBS UP: Located in North Wales, BU has several green-friendly programs that target areas of food security, sustainability and packaging.

#17: University Of California, Davis:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,589.30
GREEN THUMBS UP: UC Davis includes two sustainable living facilities for students and ride-matching service to encourage carpooling.

#16: University of California, Berkeley:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,601.95
GREEN THUMBS UP: Berkeley's campus includes a Bicycle Plan that has over 5,000 enrolled riders and five Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings.

#15: York University:
COUNTRY: Canada
SCORE: 6,620.06
GREEN THUMBS UP: The Toronto campus has a Green Campus Co-operative program that focuses on fair trade and organic goods on campus, as well as initiatives to build more community gardens.

#14: University of Ottawa:
COUNTRY: Canada
SCORE: 6,625.46
GREEN THUMBS UP: Ottawa's campus has several action groups for going green, including a focus on events like 'Green Week' and sustainable development.

#13: University of Sussex:
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
SCORE: 6,639.16
GREEN THUMBS UP: The University of Sussex's green initiative includes food markets, a campus garden and waste management programs.

#12: Linkoping University:
COUNTRY: Sweden
SCORE: 6,647.18
GREEN THUMBS UP: Linkoping University has several on-campus restaurants that include fair trade and organic foods and is one of Europe's largest bike-friendly campuses, with segregated bikepaths that allow students to bike easily between school and home.

#11: Washington University, Saint Louis:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,647.59
GREEN THUMBS UP: By 2015, the university aims to purchase only fair-trade coffee and buy a percentage of food from within 150 miles of campus.

#10: University of California Merced:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,725.26
GREEN THUMBS UP: This university includes a 'Water Battle' challenge for dorms to conserve water and a stairs campaign for students to encourage using less electricity.

#9: University Of Bath:
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
SCORE: 6,736.68
GREEN THUMBS UP: This university has an official Carbon Management Plan that aims to reduce overall energy consumption.

#8: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,766.29
GREEN THUMBS UP: UNC has a pledge dedicated to going green, along with a focus on ride sharing, community gardens and programs to make student housing more eco-friendly.

#7: University of California, Los Angeles:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 6,787.36
GREEN THUMBS UP: On top of being an industry leader in green campus buildings, UCLA also only uses eco-friendly cleaning products campus wide.

#6: University Of Sherbrooke:
COUNTRY: Canada
SCORE: 6,796.90
GREEN THUMBS UP: A leader in transportation, this Quebec university offers free seasonal passes for public transportation for all 35,000 students, as well as self-service bike and carpool programs.

#5: University of Plymouth:
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
SCORE: 6,798.51
GREEN THUMBS UP: To create a carbon neutral campus by 2030, the University of Plymouth was awarded $1.6 million to create the world's first integrated building management system that has the capability of remotely adjusting heating and lighting levels. How cool?

#4: Northeastern University:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 7,264.07
GREEN THUMBS UP: Given one of the highest grades for overall green achievement (A-) by the Green Report Card, this Boston college's dining services include hormone and antibiotic-free food products and the campus has multiple sustainability committees.

#3: University College Cork Of Ireland:
COUNTRY: Ireland
SCORE: 7,301.84
GREEN THUMBS UP: Having multiple awards in going green, UCC also targets planting more trees on campus (check out this view), reducing the university's carbon footprint and a campus-run recycling program.

#2: University of Nottingham:
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
SCORE: 7,375.59
GREEN THUMBS UP: The campus created an environmental strategy in 2010 to be more sustainable, along with six green housing projects, gardening programs and plans for three wind turbines.

#1: University of Connecticut:
COUNTRY: United States
SCORE: 7,569.39
GREEN THUMBS UP: Also pledging to be carbon neutral by 2050, UConn (located in Storrs) has green appliances, fair-trade coffee and 30 per cent of all its eggs are cage-free.

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