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Report Card 2010

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Smith College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Smith College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $1,096 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Northampton, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 3,014

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 -
In 2008, Smith created the Office of Environmental Sustainability, staffed by a director and recycling and energy managers. The Committee on Sustainability, comprised of administrators, staff, faculty, and students, has worked on projects such as the Smith Climate Action Management Plan, as well as bottled water and paper purchasing policies.
Smith has completed a carbon emissions inventory and is committed to climate neutrality; details of the reduction plan, including benchmarks, will be completed by January 2010. The college built a cogeneration plant that went online in October 2008, and works to improve energy efficiency and conservation through programs such as temperature setbacks, retrofits, and the Green Team's educational initiatives.
Smith spends over $375,000 each year on locally grown or raised food, and is a member of a western Massachusetts organization that connects farmers and communities. The college also spends over $90,000 on organically produced food, and all coffee is fair trade and organic. Five out of eleven dining facilities have programs for both pre- and postconsumer compost.
The college has committed to meeting LEED Silver standards on all new construction projects and expects that the 140,000-square-foot Ford Hall will receive certification in early 2010. Conway House is Energy Star-labeled, and all washing machines on campus have been replaced with water-efficient models. Smith is performing energy-efficient lighting retrofits, and uses LED exit signs and occupancy sensors.
Morrow House, home to 84 students from all four classes, has emerged as a residence popular with students active in sustainability endeavors. Morrow students have created a house sustainability committee. Sustainability is incorporated into new-student orientation programs. Student environmental organizations include a community garden, the Bike Kitchen, and Engineers for a Sustainable World.
Participants in an “opt-out” program can earn up to $400/year for agreeing not to drive to campus. The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is fully subsidized for students, and a campus car-sharing program includes one hybrid. The student-run Bike Kitchen makes 40 bicycles available for rent.
Smith makes a list of all holdings available only to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The college makes a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. This information is available in the general counsel's office.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development loan funds. Several managers think that companies dedicated to sustainability have the potential to be very healthy investments.
An advisory committee with one administrator, two faculty members, two students, two staff, and seven alumni representatives makes proxy voting recommendations to the board of trustees.
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