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Report Card 2011

2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011


The College Sustainability Report Card 2011 grades were determined through the following process:


The survey was divided into nine categories, with numerous subcategory indicators, all of which are listed

below. Schools were awarded points based on their levels of activity within each indicator. The number of

points assigned to each indicator varied, but the breakdown is shown below. Additionally, for some

indicators, extra credit points were awarded to recognize highly innovative efforts. When appropriate, school

size and geographic setting were taken into account.


Within each of the nine categories, schools that received at least 70 percent of the available credit earned an A,

50 percent earned a B, 30 percent earned a C, and 10 percent earned a D. The nine main categories were

weighted equally to calculate the school’s GPA on a 4.0 scale, which was then converted into an overall letter

grade. For a more detailed explanation of the evaluation process, please refer to Methodology .

The following 52 indicators were chosen based on thorough research of sustainability best practices

concerning campus operations and endowment policies. While these indicators take a broad range of

policies and programs into consideration, they do not encompass all college and university sustainability

efforts, nor do they include teaching, research, or other academic aspects concerning sustainability.


ADMINISTRATION            Regular Credit Extra Credit

Sustainability Policies

  • Demonstrating a commitment to campus sustainability by the president and senior administrators through a formal sustainability policy or action plan.
  • Adopting sustainability-related mission statements, strategic plans, master plans, and/or endorsements of local, national, or international agreements (e.g., American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, Talloires Declaration).


  25% 5%

Administrative Committee

  • Integrating multiple stakeholders into an active committee that guides the administration on issues of campus sustainability.
  • Facilitating student participation in institutional decision making on sustainability-related issues.
  • Achieving significant results in efforts to advance sustainability on campus.



Sustainability Staff

  • Designating staff members to help develop, facilitate, and oversee sustainability programs and policies.
  • Supporting the sustainability staff, as indicated by level of funding and authority of lead sustainability official.



Office or Department

  • Maintaining an office or department focused on achieving campus sustainability goals.




  • Offering a school website to facilitate involvement in campus sustainability initiatives and to educate the community.



Green Purchasing

  • Mandating through a formal policy, or informally prioritizing, the purchase of reusable or green-certified materials, including, but not limited to, Energy Star products, EPEAT-certified electronics, and environmentally preferable paper products.



Employee Outreach Opportunities

  • Organizing programs to encourage sustainable behavior among faculty and staff.  
  5% 2.5%

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

  • Initiating, completing, and updating campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories.


  10% 5%

Commitment to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

  • Making a formal commitment to reducing GHG emissions by a specific amount.


  15% 5%

Realized Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

  • Achieving a reduction in GHG emissions, both on a per-square-foot basis and on a per-student basis.


  20% 10%

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

  • Achieving a reduction in building energy consumption.
  • Retrocommissioning HVAC systems and/or installing energy-efficient technologies, such as cogeneration plants an d energy-efficient lighting.
  • Facilitating programs that provide incentives for members of the campus community to reduce energy use.


  25% 10%

Renewable Energy Generation

  • Installing solar, wind, geothermal, or other alternative sources of power on or off campus.
  • Operating solar hot water systems.


  15% 10%

Renewable Energy Purchase

  • Purchasing electric power from renewable sources or purchasing renewable energy credits.
  • Purchasing nonelectric energy from renewable sources. 


  10% 7.5%

On-site Combustion

  • Generating energy for heating and/or cooling from renewable sources.
5% 10%



Locally Grown and Produced Food

Ge ographic location and seasonal availability are taken into consideration. "Local" is defined as within 150 miles of campus.

  • Prioritizing the purchase of food from local farmers and producers.
  • Sourcing food from on-campus farms and gardens.


  20% 10%

Organic and Sustainably Produced Food

  • Incorporating organic, cage-free, hormone-free, and other sustainably produced foods in the menu.
  • Frequently offering specifically labeled vegan meals.


  20% 10%

Fair Trade Products

  • Purchasing fair trade-certified coffee and/or other food products .


  5% 2.5%

Dishware and Eco-Friendly Incentives

  • Providing incentives for the use of  reusable dishware  or for bringing a bag.
  • Offering takeout containers made from recycled, biodegradable, or eco-friendly materials.



Food Composting and Waste Diversion

  • Operating a composting program for pre- and postconsumer food waste.
  • Reducing dining hall waste by donating excess food, implementing trayless dining, recycling used cooking oil for biodiesel, or removing bottled water, among other initiatives.



Waste Reduction

  • Reducing the campus's waste generated per weighted campus user. 



Recycling of Traditional Materials

  • Administering a recycling program for all campus and dining hall traditional recyclables, such as bottles, cans, and cardboard.


  10% 5%

Recycling of Electronic Waste

  • Providing recycling for items like batteries, cell phones, computers, and printer cartridges, for waste generated by students and by the school.


  5% 2.5%

Composting (Aside from Dining Facilities)

  • Composting landscaping waste or recycling landscaping waste into mulch for use on campus.
  • Providing composting receptacles around campus in locations other than dining halls .


  5% 2.5%

Source Reduction

  • Operating programs that facilitate the continued use of items in good condition (instead of disposal), such as end-of-semester furniture or clothing swaps and collections. 



  5% 2.5%



Design and Construction

  • Committing, through a formal policy, to use green building criteria in all construction and renovations.
  • Constructing buildings that are certified by, or meet the standards of, green building rating systems, including the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating.
  • Diverting nonhazardous construction and demolition waste from landfills.


  35% 5%

Adaptive Reuse

  • Initiating adaptive reuse construction projects to repurpose unused buildings. 


Operations and Maintenance

  • Committing, through a formal policy, to maximize operational efficiency in buildings, including using green cleaning products and performing systems upgrades.
  • Renovating existing buildings in accordance with LEED-EB standards.



Water Management

  • Achieving a reduction in water use per weighted campus user.
  • Installing various energy efficiency and water conservation retrofits, such as lighting motion sensors or low-flow plumbing equipment.
  • Using numerous strategies to manage stormwater.


  20% 10%

Energy Management

  • Retrocommissioning HVAC systems and/or installing energy-efficient technologies, such as cogeneration plants an d energy-efficient lighting.
  10% 5%




Residential Communities

  • Offering sustainability-themed residential housing options.


  10% 5%

New Student Orientation

  • Integrating sustainability into new student orientation.


  10% 5%

Internships/Outreach Opportunities

  • Offering sustainability internship opportunities for students on campus.
  • Providing student positions through supported eco-rep programs or similar initiatives.


  30% 20%

Student Organizations

  • Having active student organizations that prioritize campus sustainability efforts and that achieve significant results in their efforts to advance sustainability on campus.


  35% 7.5%

Sustainability Challenges and Competitions

  • Overseeing sustainability challenges or competitions on campus or with other colleges at least once a year.
  15% 7.5%




Campus Motor Fleet

  • Maintaining motor fleet vehicles that run on clean-burning fuels or electricity.

  12.5% 12.5%

Commute Modal Split

  • Achieving a high percentage of employee and student commuters who travel via means other than single-occupancy vehicles.  


  10% 2.5%

Local Transportation Alternatives

  • Offering incentives to campus community members for carpooling or using public transportation.
  • Providing free transportation around campus and/or to local destinations, or offering subsidies to public transportation systems.


  37.5% 5%

Bicycle Program

  • Encouraging bike use by providing bicycle rental or sharing programs and offering repair services.


  15% 5%

Car-Sharing Program

  • Partnering with a car-sharing program in order to reduce the need for car ownership.


  15% 10%


  • Planning and implementing policies to promote a pedestrian- and bike-friendly campus.
  • Offering employees the option to telecommute or work a condensed week.
  10% 2.5%

Investment Holdings

  • Making lists of investment holdings available to the school community or to a wider audience.



Proxy Voting Record

  • Making proxy voting records available to the school community or to a wider audience.




  • Making investment holdings and proxy voting records available, with points awarded on a scale based on how widely available they are. Priorities are as follows:
    1. Providing information via a publicly accessible website.
    2. Providing information via a password-protected website.
    3. Sending information, upon request, via email or post.



Renewable Energy and Sustainable Investment

  • Using environmental sustainability criteria in selecting all or part of endowment investments.
  • Having investment policy provisions or using investment managers that consider sustainability factors.
  • Investing in renewable energy funds or actively investigating the option.



Community Investment

  • Making investments in community development loan funds or other community development financial institutions or actively investigating the option.



On-Campus Sustainability Projects

  • Investing in on-campus energy/water efficiency projects through the endowment (as an investment, not as a payout).



Donor Fund Option

  • Offering donors the opportunity to direct their gift to an investment fund that considers environmental sustainability factors.



Optimizing Investment Return

  • Investing to optimize long-term profit—a vital aspect of maintaining endowment sustainability.



Proxy Vote Decisions

  • Providing ways for the school to exercise its shareholder rights.
  • Advising trustees on proxy voting by a proxy voting advisory committee or similar committee structure.



Stakeholder Involvement

  • Incorporating multiple stakeholders into the investment advisory process.
  • Including faculty, student, and alumni representation on an advisory committee to the trustees.



School Community Input

  • Encouraging members of the school community to provide input via open forums or a website.



Sustainability Voting Record

  • Voting in favor of sustainability-related shareholder proposals (when school proxy voting records are available for review).


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