Sterling College was named one of the top colleges for renewable energy in a recently released report from Environment America. The environmental stewardship college was recognized as being a national leader for producing renewable energy on campus, ranking fifth among surveyed schools in the America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy report.

Aerial Sterling Solar Array“Colleges across the country…have a lot to learn from Sterling College” reads the report, noting the College’s long-standing campus sustainability efforts. In 2013, Sterling became the first college in Vermont, and the third in the nation, to fully divest its endowment from fossil fuels. The addition of 11 solar trackers on campus in 2016 allows Sterling to produce some of the electricity it uses through solar power. New windows installed across campus in 2018 support energy conservation and efficiency efforts.

“We will continue to grow our efforts on the energy front to become a national example in dealing with the climate crisis,” said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. “We are a small college with a big voice and are proud that other colleges look to Sterling as a model institution that lives its values when it comes to renewable energy and conservation.”  

Environment America is a national environmental advocacy group that works at the state, city and college campus level to advocate for change to protect the planet. The ranking is based on data that schools reported to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Sterling is known for its “Working Hands, Working Minds” motto and mission of environmental stewardship. The College ranked highly in the 2018 Washington Monthly College Rankings in the Best Liberal Arts Colleges category and has a top spot in Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools 2018 list of North America’s most environmentally-minded colleges and universities. In 2018, Sterling also received a Gold rating from AASHE’s STARS program for the fourth year in a row for campus sustainability achievements and Top Performer status in food/dining (No. 1), curriculum (No. 3) and overall for a baccalaureate institution (No. 2) in AASHE’s 2018 Sustainable Campus Index.


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