Green is the New Blue: UConn named one of the world’s eco-friendliest schools


The University of Connecticut is ranked the world’s 11th “greenest” university by the 2019 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings.  

Wilbur  by Julie Spillane.  The UConn campus is rich in greenery.

Wilbur by Julie Spillane. The UConn campus is rich in greenery.

The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking is an initiative of Universitas Indonesia, according to UIMetric website.  The goal of the ranking is to highlight policies of green campuses around the world and to encourage other universities to follow suit.  

UConn was one out of two institutions of higher education from the United States to be in the top 20, the other being the University of California-Davis, according to the ranking. The ranking consists of 780 colleges from 85 different countries, according to UConn Today.  

Rich Miller, director of UConn’s Sustainability Office, said it is a privilege to be acknowledged so highly on an international scale.  

“It’s an honor to the 11th greenest university in the world,” Miller said. “It’s impressive in that it’s recognized by other people who care about these issues and uses university and international attention to be considered about global issues and climate justice.”  

The criteria to be ranked is broken into six main categories: Setting and infrastructure, education and research, energy and climate change, waste, water and transportation. Miller said that UConn was given a “stellar” rating for its waste management, water usage and education and research.  

For water usage, UConn recycles waste water from campus in the Reclaimed Water Facility, Miller said. By using microfiltration and ultraviolet disinfection, it can create non-drinkable water to be used on campus, such as in water heaters and toilets.  

“We are able to reclaim as much as half a million gallons a day,” Miller said.  

For waste management, food waste is sent to Quantum Biopower to recycle food waste into fuel to generate energy, Miller said. 

UConn is now one of the few universities in the country that has an environment literacy general education requirement, Miller said. As of 2019, students must take one three-credit course related to environmental topics.  

Miller said he is excited to have momentum towards sustainability issues from the ranking, university faculty and students alike. He looks forward to looking back next year and seeing how much UConn has improved.  

“It’s a source of pride for me and for anyone who is part of the university community,” Miller said.  

Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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