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Report Card 2010

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Dickinson College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Dickinson College

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $350 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Enrollment: 2,365

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  
A -
Dickinson's sustainability policy addresses green building, sustainable landscaping, energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction. Two committees and eight full-time staff work to advance sustainability efforts. A green purchasing policy mandates the purchase of Energy Star appliances, recycled paper, green cleaning products, and EPEAT-registered electronics.
By 2030, Dickinson aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent from 2008 levels. Through the Sustainability Sheriffs program, staff volunteers promote responsible behavior to coworkers. The college purchases renewable energy credits equivalent to 100 percent of electricity use. There are two solar voltaic systems and one solar hot water system on campus, and a new central energy plant has boilers that are 90 percent efficient.
Dickinson sources approximately 25 percent of produce from the college's organic farm, and local purchases represent 27 percent of the annual food budget. All dairy is hormone- and antibiotic-free, seafood is purchased according to sustainability standards, and coffee is fair trade. Food scraps are composted and trays are not used. Dining services diverts 100 percent of recyclables and food waste from the landfill.
Dickinson pursues LEED Gold certification for all new buildings and has created sustainability guidelines for repairs and renovations. Two campus buildings are LEED Gold and four buildings meet LEED-EB criteria. Washers and dryers have been replaced with efficient units and there are motion sensors in all classrooms. Low-flow showerheads have been installed in all residence halls.
Dickinson employs 50 sustainability interns, and a Residential Eco-Interns program was established in fall 2008. The Center for Sustainable Living is a sustainability-themed residence hall. Organizations include Earth Now and Students Interested in Sustainable Agriculture. Water and electricity use dropped by 15 to 20 percent in 2009 during the annual Green Devil Challenge.
Dickinson has bike- and car-sharing programs and students can travel to local destinations on a free weekend shuttle. The campus fleet includes eight hybrid cars, and some vehicles run on biodiesel produced on campus.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to all members of the school community. Lists of external managers, mutual funds, and votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level are accessible online to the public.
The endowment is invested in renewable energy funds, community development loan funds, and on-campus energy and water efficiency projects. The college aims to optimize investment return while balancing economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social justice.
Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators serve on the Socially Responsible Investment Discussion Group. Though the entire endowment is currently invested in mutual funds, this group continues to research and engage in proxy issues.
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