How We Rank
Sustainability Reports and Rankings
The Campus Sustainability Office prepares and submits sustainability metrics for national surveys and rating organizations. We manage and coordinate the data from units across campus for various national sustainability surveys.
Cornell University is proud to be the top ranking Ivy League institution in 2017 several leading sustainability ratings.
- #7 Overall Princeton Review Green Honor Roll
- Gold AASHE STARS Rating
- Top 10 Overall Carbon Reduction for Doctorate Granting Institutions
- Green Power Partnership Member
- Top 100 Sierra Club Cool Schools List
- Statler Hotel TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program
Our recognition comes from ratings in three main public reporting platforms: AASHE STARS, the Princeton Review, and the Second Nature Carbon Commitment. Cornell also provides data to the Green Power Partnership thorugh the EPA, and Sierra Club. Learn more about our reporting to each platform below.
2017 Sustainability Reporting and Rankings
AASHE STARS - Gold Rating, 6th Year in a Row
Cornell University is proud to maintain the AASHE STARS Gold rating for our campus' sustainability performance.
- Top Ivy League institution
- 6th year achieving STARS Gold
- 3rd for Diversity & Affordability (2 years running)
Princeton Review, Guide to Green Colleges - Top 50 Green Colleges
- Top Ivy League Institution
- 7th in the nation
- Green Honor Roll for 7th year in a row (every year PR has had this list)
Carbon Commitment - Leadership Signatory and on track to meet neutrality by 2035 with a 33% Reduction to Date
Data last referenced Fall 2017
- Three Marks of Distinction from Second Nature for outstanding climate leadership
- Top Ivy League Institution for overall carbon reduction (33%)
- Top Ivy for renewable energy production
- One of first 50 schools in the nation to sign. First Ivy League institution to sign, and the only Ivy for many years.
- Top 10 overall reduction for doctorate granting institutions
- Top 25 for reduction by square foot (35.5%)
- Top 25 for reduction by FTE student (37%)
- Top 25 most aggressive carbon reduction goals among Doctorate granting institutions
- Top 100 in the U.S. for overall renewable energy production (with one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country - 100% renewable electricity for the campus)
- 3rd largest reduction in the country for campuses with over 1,000,000 sq. feet
- #1 U of Tennessee Knoxville
- #2 U of Missouri Columbia
Sierra Club Cool Schools - Top 100 in the Nation
Where We Report
- Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)
STARS is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It is updated annually. Information is pulled from this comprehensive system for other national surveys such as the Sierra Club and Princeton Review.
- The Princeton Review's Top Green College Honor Role
Published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is an annual edition of a free, downloadable guidebook focused solely on colleges and universities that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability activities and initiatives.
- Second Nature Carbon Commitment and GHG Inventory
The Carbon Commitment is a University wide commitment to reaching carbon neutrality by 2035, and achieving sustainability and climate litearcy for all students. The Carbon Commitment is a transparent and public reporting commitment. Cornell submits data annually with over 600 other U.S. institutions.
- Sierra Club Cool Schools
Participation in SIERRA magazine's Cool Schools ranking is open to all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
- #2 in Save on Energy 2017 Green Report: Top Universities in the United States
- EPA Green Power Partnership Member: The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program encouraging organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.