St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester has been named a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.

Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

Macalester College has a long-standing tradition of sustainability particularly as it relates to Macalester’s broader commitments to internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society.  

As outlined by the Macalester College Sustainability Plan, the college has committed to five overarching goals that, when complete, will be a notable demonstration of Macalester’s commitment to sustainability.  The college has committed to be carbon neutral by 2025; achieve zero waste by 2020; provide 30% ‘real food’ to campus by 2020; and enhance sustainability education inside and outside the classroom – using a living laboratory model whenever possible.  All of these goals culminate in Macalester’s fifth goal by collaborating with the community, including other institutions, to advance sustainability efforts in higher education. 

In addition to Macalester, two other schools in Minnesota were honored: Glendale Elementary School in Savage, and Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,138 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

April 25 2016

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