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Report Card 2008

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Smith College
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Smith College

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $1,400 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Northampton, Massachusetts


Campus Survey: No

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 -
In 2004, President Christ signed a voluntary agreement with Clean Air–Cool Planet to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions. An energy manager is shared with the other schools of Five Colleges, Incorporated, and an on-campus Green Team works to further initiatives on campus. Recent successes have included a large wind power purchase, a 5+ star rating from Energy Star for a new housing project, and an extensive lighting retrofit program.
Efforts on campus have included an ongoing lighting retrofit project, a temperature setback program, and the Million Monitor Drive. Smith is also part of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Purchasers, a group of eight colleges that bought 20,500 megawatt-hours of wind energy in January 2006. Energy use at Smith has recently experienced a 4 percent reduction through efficiency and conservation efforts, including alternative boiler fuels and student energy conservation campaigns. A cogeneration facility currently under construction will effectively cut the campus’s emissions in half.
Dining services purchases organic produce, in addition to local dairy and honey, from 18 local farms. The college has removed bottled water from one to-go location and, instead, will distribute polycarbonate bottles to be refilled and reused by students. Produce from the college’s larger supplier comes in large plastic totes to eliminate packaging waste. Food scraps are brought to a local farm to be composted. Twenty-two tons of food was composted last year.
The new Ada Comstock Scholar Housing Project received a 5+ star rating from Energy Star for energy efficiency. The new engineering and molecular sciences building, tentatively scheduled for groundbreaking in 2007, is set to meet LEED Silver standards.
The Green Team is exploring the possibility of purchasing hybrid vehicles for the fleet and procuring biodiesel for physical plant vehicles. Beginning in September 2007, every employee will have the option of receiving $200 per year in exchange for an agreement not to drive to work. Parking fees have been increased as further incentive to not drive.
The college has no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record. Therefore, there is no known ability to access this information.
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 Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR), created in 1979, formulates guidelines for Smith’s money managers to follow when voting proxies. The CIR consists of two students, two faculty, two administrators, and two members from the board of trustees.
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