Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has been named one of North America’s “coolest” schools by the Sierra Club for the second consecutive year because of its commitment to sustainability initiatives.
TRU was also informed the school made the Princeton Review’s Green 2021 Honor Roll in which the university placed 21st among 695 other colleges and universities in both the U.S. and Canada. These international honours are directly related to TRU’s outstanding efforts at attaining a Platinum STARS rating through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Last year Thompson Rivers University was named the top “coolest” school by the Sierra Club out of nearly 300 other universities.
This year, TRU placed third behind Stanford University and the University of California, Irvine. Rankings are based on universities’ green initiatives, environmental engagement, and offered sustainability courses. TRU’s Zero Waste and Environmental Programs Coordinator, James Gordon, stated that “these recognitions indicate to us that we are headed in the right direction.”
Gordon outlined some of TRU’s latest sustainability initiatives within a news release, including the launch of a single-use item elimination task force. He also discussed a new stipulation in which the university will require all undergraduate baccalaureate degree students to take an Institutional Learning Outcome (IOL) course that promotes socially responsible and sustainable behaviour. Further, a particularly important initiative that likely made the university stand out is TRU’s Campus Electrification Project. “When completed, in a five to ten-year timeframe, it will heat campus buildings almost entirely by electricity, thereby eliminating almost all burning of fossil fuels,” Gordon said. “The initiative is in the design and planning stage, with the construction of phase 1 expected to start in 2022.”
Sierra Club Magazine’s adventure and lifestyle editor, Katie O’Reilly, stated that “TRU truly stands out in this increasingly important space.” Adding that, “[she is] glad [the Sierra Club] opened [their] rankings to Canadian schools because Thompson Rivers University has a lot to model for schools everywhere.” O’Reilly even ventured to say the Sierra Club has been continually impressed by TRU’s “commitment to teaching and embodying excellent environmental stewardship in all areas.”
It is apparent that TRU’s gold and bronze awards are nothing to scoff over; TRU is an environmentally conscious powerhouse.
These accolades confirm that Thompson Rivers University is more than committed to its sustainability efforts. It is evident that sustainability on campus has become an utmost priority.
As environmental concerns grow worldwide, TRU students, faculty, and staff can be sure that their university has put our planet first while fostering an environment in which all are encouraged to act responsibly. TRU plans to keep moving forward with initiatives that promote a culture of conscious sustainability and work toward a greener future not only on our little campus but elsewhere.