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Report Card 2011

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Boston College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Boston College

School details:

Endowment: $1,341 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts


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  
Environmental sustainability figures prominently in Boston College's master plan. The Sustainability Forum and the Office of Sustainability, which employs a full-time director, implement and oversee campus environmental initiatives. The college purchases only EPEAT-certified computers and buys energy-efficient appliances and environmentally preferable paper products whenever possible.
BC has reduced building energy consumption by approximately 14 percent since 2005 and has implemented energy efficiency measures such as HVAC system upgrades, the installation of variable speed drives, and lighting retrofits in 90 percent of campus building space. Thirty-five percent of BC's electricity purchases come from renewable energy sources.
Dining services spends approximately 36 percent of its budget on food from 58 local farms and 81 local processors. Organic, fair trade, free-range, vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free, and sustainably harvested food items are served as well. Students receive discounts for using reusable mugs. Preconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals, and the college recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
New construction must meet at least LEED Certified standards, and there are two Energy Star-labeled buildings on campus. Water consumption has decreased nearly 25 percent since 2005 due to the installation of technologies such as low-flow faucets and showerheads and efficient washing machines.
BC offers 7 paid student sustainability internships and 25 paid eco-reps positions. The student group RealFoodBC promoted a campus farmers market, and EcoPledge ran a Think Outside the Bottle Campaign to encourage students to limit their bottled water purchases. The most recent NRG Games competition saved 133,793 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
The college provides free transportation between its three campuses. A variety of incentives are provided for use of alternative transportation, including membership in a car-sharing program and discounts on public transit passes and parking permits. BC lists bike rack locations on its website and offers lockers and showers for bicycle commuters.
The college makes only asset allocation information available to the public online. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is made available only to trustees.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is invested is renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. BC is exploring endowment investment in on-campus sustainability projects. The college also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The college provides its investment managers with specific guidelines that determine its proxy votes on environmental and social resolutions. For corporate governance matters, the college provides investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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