Attending a college committed to sustainability means more course options and more hands-on opportunities for you. If your goal is an environmental career, here's how a Green College can prepare you.

Sustainable Business

Building with green roof

In many industries, regardless of whether the goal of the business relates to environmental impact, sustainable practices and policies lead to increased profits and social value. Investors have been rushing to fund a huge range of new companies, featuring everything from solar energy to green building materials. Even corporations like Walmart, Google, and HP are greening their products and improving their environmental record in response to consumer demand.

Green Education

No matter what you major in, an understanding of green issues will serve you well in your future career.


If you want to be equipped to join the emerging green economy, you want to attend a school with a demonstrated understanding of sustainable issues. Schools that scored well on our Green Rating and are featured in our Guide to Green Colleges offer courses that help you understand your way around renewable energy, organic agriculture, and the tools for developing smart, efficient products. For instance, at Colorado State University, students, faculty, and staff continue to probe sustainability issues in fields as diverse as atmospheric science, anthropology, energy production, economics, and biology. And Stanford University has over 1,000 unique sustainability courses and an award-winning sustainability engagement platform called My Cardinal Green, which rewards students, staff, and faculty for contributions to sustainability on campus.


Outstanding green colleges also work to produce meaningful results on-campus, like Cornell University. The Cornell University Sustainable Design (CUSD, a student-led team) partnered with Cornell’s Grounds Department to build a solar trailer outfitted with solar panels, batteries, and charging ports to store, transport, and charge battery-operated landscape and grounds maintenance equipment. The trailer can also be used as an educational model, as well as a practical tool for events that require on-site, portable power. The solar panels are estimated to produce 1,151.2 kWh of energy over the course of the year—enough energy to power a normal 60-watt lightbulb for 19,187 hours or 2.2 years. If the renewable energy is fully used every day, it would be roughly equivalent to replacing 33 gallons of gasoline and/or diesel. 


Not only do green colleges provide great courses, but many also give undergrads the opportunity to be involved in top-notch research. Students at College of the Atlantic perform research for classes, internships, independent studies and senior projects—the COA even stewards 300 acres of forest and farmland, which provide research opportunities for students and faculty. Undergrads across the country have taken the green lead by launching recycling, composting, and conservation programs on their campuses and pushing for more environmentally friendly school policies.

If you choose to attend a school with a good Green Rating, the academic, research and extracurricular opportunities available will put you a step ahead of the competition and help you get ready for the career you really want.

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