Top 10 Sustainable College Campuses in the US

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

If you are a student in the US and a green lifestyle enthusiast, you must consider the institute’s policies on sustainability while searching for a college. However, it can be mentally exhausting to find an eco-friendly institute with so many college options across the country.

To avoid this hectic research process, check out the top 10 sustainable college campuses in the US that we have listed below. 

Featured Programs

Top 10 Sustainable College Campuses in the US

With so many college campuses available, finding the most sustainable college can be time-consuming and frustrating. Below are the most sustainable college campuses that we have discovered. Choosing from these options will positively impact your academic career.

Aerial view of the University of Virginia campus with historic buildings and lush greenery

University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire is among the few universities that offer a dual major in sustainability. The institute has made efforts for sustainability as they have focused on waste management, sustainable buildings, and energy efficiency. 

The institute has certified LEED buildings, which include one LEED silver and two LEED gold buildings. They also have a solid climate action plan to make campuses carbon-neutral by 2050. 

Some sustainability-oriented courses offered at the University of New Hampshire are:

  • Environmental conservation
  • Fundamentals of environmental sustainability 
  • Natural resource economics
  • Sustainability in Action

We connected with Kelsey Ludeman, an Academic Success Coach at the University of Houston-Downtown, about her thoughts on sustainable college campuses and what her top pick would be:

 “The University of New Hampshire earns my top spot, with the highest rating by The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. UNH is recognized for their usage of 100% self-generated energy, 4-star certified green dining, and in-depth program offerings.”

Ludeman continued to share that this university has “an impressive catalog of preservation-focused degree paths,” which is also something to look for if you want to align both your ethics and career goals.

Cornell University

Cornell University is committed to environmental sustainability, which is also reflected in its education system. The institute’s efforts regarding sustainability deserve special appreciation as they have focused on different areas, including sustainable transport, organic food, solar energy, fossil fuel use reduction, and waste reduction. 

They have a good climate action plan in place that aims to reduce emissions and become completely carbon-neutral by 2035. Furthermore, the university also has a platinum ranking with the AASHE STARS program. 

Some sustainability courses offered at Cornell University are:

  • Sustainability leadership
  • Conservation oceanography
  • Environmental and resource economics
  • Bioenergy systems

University of California, Davis

Another sustainable college that you can consider is the University of California, Davis. The institute is known to be a green university, and it was ranked third in the rankings of UI GreenMetric World University. Their efforts in fighting climate change and achievements in sustainability have made them one of the most sustainable colleges in the US. 

The college has a 100-acre botanical garden, which is specifically devoted to trees and plants. It was built in 1936, and the trees are suitable for the Mediterranean climate. 

If you want to study greenery at the University of California, Davis, you can consider different programs related to:

  • Evolutionary biology
  • Plant biology
  • Entomology
  • Agricultural economics

Stanford University

Stanford University aims to implement a sustainability model in every aspects of campus life. They have made efforts to transform their campus into an eco-friendly place by focusing on water, sustainable buildings, waste management, and by taking energy-efficiency initiatives. 

The institute has also taken steps to promote education related to sustainability and minimize the carbon footprint. They have three LEED-certified buildings, which shows their dedication to sustainability. 

Some relevant courses that you can study at Stanford are:

  • Global warming
  • Global and biological change
  • Sustainability leadership
  • Environmental systems
  • Environment and Energy
Rooftop with solar panels

Emory University 

Another sustainable college in the US that you must know about is Emory University. It is known as one of the greenest institutes in the US. Washington Post, Princeton Review, and other credible platforms have acknowledged their outstanding efforts for sustainability. 

With LEED-certified buildings, the buildings of their campuses have an environmentally friendly design. The presence of trees, open spaces, and natural beauty makes a valuable addition to the campus.

College of the Atlantic

College of the Atlantic was the first institute to become carbon-neutral in 2007. They engage students in every aspect of sustainability and raise awareness about sustainability and climate action.

From green buildings to solar energy and organic food to water conservation, they focus on different practices to make their campus eco-friendly. The institute also follows green remodeling practices to maintain the sustainability of buildings. 

Some of the relevant courses which you can study here are:

  • Sustainable methods
  • Mathematics and physics of sustainable energy
  • Land use planning
  • Climate justice

Brown University

Brown University is not like a typical urban campus as it has huge green space. With their devotion to sustainability, they have some primary goals, which include:

  • Reduce energy use of the university 
  • Positively contribute to a healthier and cleaner environment
  • Minimize negative impacts that can affect the environment in any way

The university has minimized its energy-related carbon footprint to 27.4%, a big achievement. The interconnected green spaces also positively impact students’ mental health and allow them to enjoy their time on campus.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University aims to implement sustainable solutions and reduce carbon footprint. They also focus on zero waste practices, sustainable buildings and transportation, and solar energy. Additionally, they also have LEED-certified buildings and environmental research centers. 

Some sustainability-centered courses that you can study at Arizona State University are:

  • Ecology 
  • Biological systems
  • Wildlife management and wildlife ecology
  • Ecosystem planning

University of Colorado, Boulder 

A happy student sitting on a green grass with his laptop open

The University of Colorado, Boulder, has integrated sustainability into every aspects of college life on campus. Their notable efforts related to eco-friendly solutions, sustainability projects, and research facilities show their devotion and care for the environment. 

The college has LEED-certified buildings, which are of the Gold, Silver, and Platinum categories. Some of the sustainability-focused courses that you can study at the University of Colorado, Boulder, are:

  • Energy Engineering
  • Energy policy project
  • Environmental law and natural resources

University of Miami

With a great interest in eco-friendly practices, the University of Miami aims to use 100% waste and renewable energy by 2042. Some of their prominent efforts in this regard include sustainability research, sustainability-oriented education, solar panels, and green roofs. 

According to reports, the college has 1.2 million square feet of LEED-certified buildings. Some relevant courses which you can consider studying at the college are:

  • Health and environment
  • Environmental policy
  • Economics of natural resources
  • Sustainable business
  • Sustainable development

Importance of Sustainability 

Sustainability holds special significance for preserving natural resources like air and water on our planet. By developing a sustainable planet, we can build sustainable ways of living. It will help to minimize pollution and protect habitats such as animals and plants.

The important aspect of sustainability also includes sustainable business practices. It makes a positive impact on people and communities when companies and governments work together to reduce fossil fuels and gas emissions.

Nowadays, companies across the globe have also started taking sustainability seriously. According to a statistical study, around 59% of companies are now using sustainable and recycled materials. It is helping to reduce emissions and making this planet a better place to live. 

A student's view of a green school campus

Related Questions

Here are some common questions that most students who want to study sustainability or in a sustainable college have in their minds. 

Where Is the Best Place to Study Sustainability?

Some top places that you can consider for studying sustainability are the University of California, Berkeley, US, the University of Toronto, Canada, and the University of British Columbia, Canada. You must consider your budget and requirements before applying to any of these universities. 

Does Harvard Have a Sustainability Program?

Yes, Harvard has a sustainability graduate program that prepares individuals for the relevant top positions. Their quality coursework helps students to develop practical and innovative solutions to overcome climate change challenges. 

Which Country Is Leading in Sustainability?

Denmark is the leading country in sustainability. They have a better environmental performance index than other nations, which makes them the most sustainable country. 


The universities mentioned above offer quality sustainability-focused programs and courses. Also, they have implemented the best eco-friendly practices, which makes their campuses an ideal place for students to study and learn. It positively impacts their mental well-being and prepares them to contribute to the betterment of the environment. 

Featured Programs

Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Enter a search word or phrase