Belmont University was recently included on the Sierra Club’s list of “Cool Schools,” a ranking released each year to recognize schools across the country who excel in areas of sustainability and conservation. Recognized with a “Gold” ranking, up last year from the institution’s Bronze status, Belmont received its highest scores in the ranking’s Co-Curricular, Energy and Waste categories.
Launched in 2015, Belmont’s Conservation Covenant challenges all members of the university to take care of God’s creation, a charge the institution takes very seriously. It’s why Belmont serves as an arboretum to preserve more than 100 species of trees and shrubs and carefully manages water usage for irrigation. It’s also why the university builds and maintains green roofs, constructs new buildings to LEED-certified standards and utilizes a geothermal energy system that uses the Earth’s core to heat and cool campus buildings.
Vice President for Spiritual Development and Chair of Belmont’s Sustainability Committee Dr. Todd Lake said the university’s commitment to take care of what it’s been given is a core belief seen among faculty, staff and students. “For us, it’s more than recycling or participating in a car sharing program or reducing our use of plastic. The opportunity to take care of the resources God has given us is a charge we’re deeply committed to–and we’re delighted to have our efforts recognized through the Sierra Club’s Cool School rankings,” Lake said. “We don’t want to stop here. We’re committed to furthering our work and seeing what’s next for Belmont as it relates to conversation and sustainability.”
Created to honor those schools that illustrate their commitment to sustainability, as well as their ability to make significant change across their campus, the 2016 rankings included more than 200 four-year schools from across the country. For the full ranking of 2016’s “Coolest Schools,” click here.