report cardFinally, finally, Columbia has gotten some recognition for its dogged drive towards greenishness: a good-enough-everywhere-but-Columbia grade of A- on the third annual Sustainability Report Card for American colleges. The decision ties us with 14 other schools (including four Ivies, none of which were in New Haven, not that we care about that or anything). And it’s probably the most drastic improvement we’ll ever get in a national ranking, up from a B grade just last year.

Why the change?

The graders liked how transparent Columbia is with its $7 billion, responsibly-invested  endowment, and campus green groups got a nod for the eco-rep program and helping bring local food to John Jay. Columbia also scored points for joining the Mayor’s PlaNYC 2030 program for action on global warming (although PrezBo has yet to sign the President’s Climate Commitment, which sets different standards for carbon emissions reduction). Under the terms of that agreement, the school conducted an inventory of its carbon emissions, which hasn’t been released yet — look for some concrete numbers down the pike.

One school that won’t be taking its report card home to mom — the New School, which got an overall grade of D-, despite having launched a new environmental studies program this fall.