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Report Card 2011

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Berea College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Berea College

School details:

Endowment: $908 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Berea, Kentucky


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
B +
The Department of Sustainability and Environmental Studies aims to incorporate sustainability into Berea's physical plant, operations, and curriculum. The Campus Environmental Policy Committee has worked on a variety of initiatives and recently presented a biannual report of indicators of progress toward campus sustainability. The college employs several sustainability staff members and requires the purchase of environmentally preferable cleaning and paper products.
Berea aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent from 2008 levels by 2015. The college has cut building energy consumption in half since 2005 through numerous measures: energy management systems monitor 75 percent of buildings; HVAC systems have been upgraded for efficiency; and 85 percent of campus lighting fixtures are highly efficient. The campus also features six solar hot water systems and a 15-kilowatt solar array.
Dining services spends 10.7 percent of its food budget on local products, including meat and vegetables from an on-campus farm. Organic items, fair trade coffee, and hormone- and antibiotic-free meat are also purchased. A 10 percent discount is offered for using a reusable mug, and all meals are trayless. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at most meals, and a recycling program collects electronics in addition to traditional materials.
Berea applies ecological design principles to all redesign and renovation projects. The campus features one LEED Silver-certified and one LEED Gold-certified building, as well as two buildings that meet LEED criteria. Water consumption has decreased 6 percent since 2005, and the college has installed water-saving technologies such as low-flow water fixtures and dual-flush toilets.
The Ecovillage at Berea is home to about 100 students interested in sustainability, and the Sustainability and Environmental Studies House, which is largely self-reliant for energy, water, and waste treatment, houses eight students who develop educational programs for the community. Students in Helping Earth and Learning work on initiatives such as educating their peers about the importance of composting. The college employs 12 student interns to work on sustainability programs.
The college fleet includes six hybrids and twelve electric vehicles. Members of the Ecovillage can check out a hybrid vehicle for free if two or more students ride in the car. Volunteering at the bicycle cooperative for ten hours earns community members the opportunity to build themselves a bike from used frames and parts.
The college makes only asset allocation information available to the public online. The college does not make public the shareholder voting record of its commingled funds.
The college aims to optimize its investment returns within prudent risk parameters and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The college is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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