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Report Card 2010

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Colby College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Colby College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $430 million as of March 31, 2009

Location: Waterville, Maine

Enrollment: 1,847

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


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

Overall grade  
B +
Sustainability is featured in the core values of Colby College. The master plan describes planting guidelines for use of native species. The Environmental Advisory Group successfully campaigned for trays to be removed from dining halls, started an organic garden on campus, and signed a renewable energy contract. A purchasing policy mandates that Colby purchase all Energy Star appliances, 100 percent recycled paper, and Green Seal cleaning products.
Colby has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions per square foot to 22 percent below 1990 levels. Energy conservation initiatives include a cogeneration plant, an energy management system to turn off heating and cooling during periods of low occupancy, and new equipment with variable frequency drives. All of the college's purchased electricity comes from wind and hydroelectric power.
Colby spends 20 percent of its food budget on local items from well over 100 farmers and producers. A student-run garden provides about 3,000 pounds of food annually. All milk and yogurt is hormone-free and all seafood meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines. Reusable cups may be taken out of the dining hall and returned later. All food scraps are composted. There is a clothing swap during Earth Week and a program to reuse furniture left behind after move-out.
Colby features five LEED-certified buildings on campus. Timers, occupancy sensors, and ambient light sensors have been installed on one-third of all lights, and 95 percent of incandescent lighting has been eliminated. Buildings have efficient washing machines, low-flow showerheads and toilets, and instantaneous hot water systems. Greywater and rain sensors are used for irrigation.
Students in The Green House residence hall coordinate events such as guest speakers and visits to local farms. All new students are taught about sustainability at Colby by peer leaders, as well as through a green living guide and a model sustainable dorm room. The Colby Environmental Coalition runs a clothing swap and a waste audit, and has worked to green the graduation ceremonies. Students also run the campus garden.
Carpools are given preferential parking spots. Subsidies are provided for students to use shuttles to airports, and Colby runs a free shuttle around campus and to local points of interest. There are bike- and car-sharing programs on campus. New construction on buildings includes bike storage rooms.
The college makes a list of all holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. The college does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. Many of Colby's real estate managers make significant green investments in portfolio properties.
Students, faculty, and alumni serve on an advisory committee, which makes proxy voting recommendations to the board. The college asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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