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Report Card 2008

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Bowdoin College
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Bowdoin College

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $828 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Brunswick, Maine


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: No


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
B -
President Mills has signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. Bowdoin has also signed on to the Maine Governor’s Carbon Challenge, committing to reduce its emissions to 11 percent below 2002 levels by 2010. The Sustainable Bowdoin Office was established to fulfill the obligations of the college’s environmental mission statement and is run by a sustainability coordinator and staff of student workers. There is also an environmental action committee.
The college signed an agreement with a local, certified low-impact hydropower facility to match any non-renewable sources the college uses from the grid with hydropower energy. This means that, in effect, the college will run on 100 percent renewable energy. Four buildings at the college use biodiesel B20 for heating fuel. The campus steam plant utilizes all waste vegetable oil from Bowdoin’s dining services fryolators—roughly 1,000 gallons this past academic year.
Dining services has a strong partnership with Farm Fresh Connections, which sources from 20 to 30 local farms. In addition, the college buys natural, local meat and uses herbs from two herb gardens located next to the dining halls. Bowdoin bought 1,358 pounds of produce from the college’s certified organic gardens. Bowdoin dining has an environmental committee. Sustainable Bowdoin uses Earth Tubs to divert roughly 200 pounds of postconsumer waste from the landfill each day.
All new construction on campus is submitted for LEED certification, and all renovations follow the college’s own sustainable design guidelines, which incorporate LEED guidelines. Two new residence halls received LEED Silver certification in 2006. Construction will begin in the fall of 2007 on a new hockey arena that has already been registered as a LEED project. The college is wrapping up a three-year initiative to renovate six residence halls, and energy efficiency measures have been a large part of the renovation process.
Bowdoin has two hybrid vehicles in its fleet. Maintenance equipment is fueled by biodiesel. The Commute Another Way program has been formed to encourage carpooling, biking, and other alternative forms of transportation, and the school has a shared bike club. The college is also helping to find a regional shuttle bus service, which will include stops at the college.
The college has no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record.
The college aims to optimize investment return and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The college has not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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