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Report Card 2008

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Dickinson College
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Dickinson College

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $288 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


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

Overall grade  
B +
President Durden signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The campus sustainability specialist works with five sustainability interns and the sustainability department hosts a blog. The Society Advocating Environmental Sustainability is an advisory committee of students, faculty, and staff.
Dickinson has committed to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 with Step It Up. Starting this year, Dickinson will increase its purchase of wind energy credits to cover 50 percent of its electricity consumption. Conservation contests have reduced electricity use by up to 20 percent. A 60.28-kilowatt solar array has been installed and a solar water heating machine will provide hot water to a residence hall.
The Dickinson College Garden, a 50-acre organic farm located six miles away, supplies the dining halls with vegetables. Dining services purchases from seven local producers, including two dairies. To-go containers are either corn based or made from a sugar cane byproduct. Pre- and postconsumer food waste and napkins are composted. Placing napkins on the table has saved a case of napkins per day.
Dickinson is committed to obtaining LEED Silver certification for all new construction projects exceeding $500,000. The Center for Sustainable Living, a residence hall that utilizes energy and water conservation systems that allow its 14 residents to consume half the water, fossil fuel, and electricity than the average campus resident, is pursuing LEED Gold certification.
The college has four hybrid cars in the its fleet and plans to add more. Over 100 gallons of biodiesel are produced per week for use in the college’s garbage trucks and grounds equipment, and the byproduct is turned into soap for use in campus restrooms. Bicycles are available for student use and the college is encouraging the local transportation system to install an on-campus bus stop.
Information about the college’s endowment holdings is available in the investment office and is sent upon request to all members of the school community. While there have been no requests for information regarding the college’s proxy voting records, the policy regarding transparency of these records is under review.
The college has $2.1 million of its endowment invested in “social responsibility” funds.
The college’s chief investment officer currently makes decisions on proxy voting. The president has called for the formation of a multi-stakeholder discussion group. The ad hoc committee, which will include eight students, will be charged with developing the college community’s definition of “socially responsible” investing, which may include active participation in the voting of proxies.
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