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Report Card 2008

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $10,000 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts


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 +
MIT has an administrative program dedicated to campus sustainability, including one full-time director, one half-time professional staff member, and two full-time positions to advance the implementation of sustainable practices and energy efficiency measures on campus. Sustainability policies include an environment, health, and safety policy that embraces comprehensive environmental stewardship and pollution prevention; and a recycled product purchasing policy.
MIT’s Energy Initiative program includes investment in a mix of energy conservation, facilities retrofits and system enhancements, behavioral change campaigns, and a 40-kilowatt expansion of MIT’s solar photovoltaic power program. The institute has undertaken a carbon emissions inventory and continues to update the inventory as part of the campus’s energy management program. After MIT’s 20-megawatt cogeneration power plant was installed in 1996, carbon emissions were reduced by 32 percent. The institute actively supports the city of Cambridge’s Climate Protection Plan goal of reducing emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.
The primary dormitory food service provider is committed to integrating sustainable food practices in its operations. MIT currently makes purchases from 19 local producers and offers an array of organic products. Preconsumer food waste from major dining facilities is composted.
According to campus policy, all new buildings and major renovations must meet or exceed LEED Silver standards. In 2007, MIT registered three new construction projects for LEED certification, including the new Sloan School of Management building that is expected to achieve a LEED Gold rating. Renovation programs focused on extensive retrofitting of heating, lighting, and water systems improve efficiency and conservation. Since 1990, MIT’s water use was reduced by 60 percent through low-flow plumbing and other efficiency installations.
MIT has deployed several alternative-fuel vehicles, including campus utility vehicles powered by compressed natural gas and a gas-electric hybrid. Programs such as the MIT subsidized public bus, subway, and commuter rail passes; free rideshare and vanpool services; discounted car-sharing and eco-taxi memberships; free campus bus shuttles; and ample bike racks have significantly reduced the passenger miles driven by the MIT community.
The institute does not disclose its endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record.
The institute aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles, in addition to community development financial institutions or community development loan funds.
MIT’s Advisory Committee for Shareholder Responsibility reviews and recommends positions.
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