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Report Card 2009

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Dickinson College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Dickinson College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader

  Endowment Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $288 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Enrollment: 2,321

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research and survey responses from schools. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methodology  section.

Overall grade  
A -
President Durden signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. A sustainability coordinator heads the sustainability department within facilities management. Dickinson Society Advocating Environmental Sustainability, a group of faculty, staff, and students, meets bi-weekly and makes recommendations on all environmental sustainability initiatives.
The new central energy plan efficiently provides heating and cooling with a projected payback of less than ten years. The new Rector Science Complex is expected to use one-third less energy than a standard building due to features such as lighting systems that respond to ambient light. An energy monitor in the lobby displays energy usage in order to help decrease consumption.
Dining services buys vegetables from the Dickinson College Organic Farm. By purchasing from the farm, the college saves on food and transportation costs. This year, more than $6,500 has been reinvested into the college farm instead of being paid to outside suppliers. Dining services has a goal of composting 100 percent of food waste.
Dickinson's master plan mandates that all new construction exceeding $500,000 must meet LEED Silver standards. Facilities management has implemented a set of sustainability standards for all repair and renovations that include installing motion sensors on sinks and energy-efficient lights. The Center for Sustainable Living achieved LEED Gold certification, and the newly completed Rector Science Complex is pending Silver, or possibly Gold, certification.
The sustainability department offers numerous student internships. Interns have coordinated such events as RecycleMania, the Green Devil energy competition, and Focus the Nation. Students address sustainability issues in the Center for Sustainable Living residence, as well as in the group Earth Now!
The college's fleet includes hybrid cars and the biodiesel project produces fuel for numerous vehicles on campus. The college is pursuing the creation of an on-campus bus stop as part of the local transit system. Students may borrow bikes free of charge.
The college makes its shareholder voting records and information on investment strategy, policies, and holdings available to the public on a new website.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and currently invests in socially screened funds, green funds, and direct investment community development funds.
Four students, four faculty members, one alumnus, and two administrators serve on the Socially Responsible Investment Discussion Group, which makes recommendations on proxy voting and studies socially responsible and sustainable investment alongside the college's current policies and portfolio.
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