SIU adds two national awards for sustainability to its collection

By Brandi Courtois, News Editor

SIU’s efforts in sustainability have earned them two national awards this year.

SIU placed on the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” list for the fourth year in a row and was awarded in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition” for the seventh consecutive year, according to a news release from SIU.

See more: (Environmental Ambassadors to celebrate 18th Annual Sustainability Celebration


“Sustainability is about answering a call to action,” Geory Kurtzhals, sustainability director, said in the release. “It is about looking at our everyday decisions — those with long-term and short-term implications, and making a decision to do something differently or to do something new.”

Princeton Review, which does not rank schools within its list, grades universities on a variety of criteria. SIU was among 413 schools around the world honored for strong commitments to green policies, practices and programs. The review requires a score of 80 or higher on a scale from 60 to 99 in order to earn recognition, according to the release. 

Of the 282 universities chosen by the Sierra Club, SIU is one of five Illinois institutions to earn a spot in the top 170, according to the release. 

The release said the university was ranked particularly high for research and for curriculum, coming at number 41 and 66, respectively.

Since 2009, more than $2.2 million in Green Fund grant has been awarded to 193 diverse campus projects, the release said. So far, projects have focused on a variety of things such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, waste, and sustainability outreach.

See more: (Sustainability groups strive to make SIU greener)

Kurtzhals said in the release that SIU doesn’t want to rest on past laurels, but rather will continue to push to help make campus and the surrounding area a greener and more sustainable community.


“We encourage each member of the SIU community to reflect on his or her circle of impact and consider their opportunities to help create a more sustainable campus,” Kurtzhals said in the release.

News Editor Brandi Courtois can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Brandi_Courtois.

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