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Report Card 2010

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Occidental College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of Occidental College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $277 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Los Angeles, California

Enrollment: 1,848

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: No


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

Overall grade  
The Occidental College Sustainability Group, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, has developed a solar array installation proposal and is exploring energy- and water-savings programs. Two staff members in facilities services and hospitality services work part time on sustainability issues. The college purchases only Energy Star appliances, Green Seal cleaning products, and organic pesticides.
The college has conducted a partial assessment of its greenhouse gas emissions. Initiatives to increase energy efficiency include a campus-wide lighting retrofit campaign and an ongoing duct cleaning program. HVAC systems are shut down during winter break.
Menus feature organic produce, cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef, and fair trade coffee. Dining services uses corn-based take-out containers and bags, and compostable sandwich wraps. Preconsumer food waste is donated to the college's student-run organic garden for compost.
All new construction and major renovations will be conducted to LEED Silver standards. Rangeview Hall meets LEED Silver criteria, but is not officially certified. The college has retrofitted over half of the campus with low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, high-efficiency condensers, and motion sensor lighting.
The student-governed ASOC Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund supports environmental outreach in residence halls and a bicycle rack project. An on-campus organic farm is run by the student group FEAST. The Environmental Action Coalition works to empower students to address sustainability issues.
Approximately one-quarter of the college's fleet is composed of electric vehicles. The student government runs the Bengal Bus program, which uses college vans to take students to off-campus destinations, including an end-of-semester airport shuttle service. Occidental’s proposed specific plan calls for reducing the number of roads and parking lots in the central campus and replacing them with pedestrian walkways and people-oriented outdoor spaces.
The college makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor 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.
The college asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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