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Report Card 2011

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Bowdoin College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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A-
Bowdoin College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $688 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Brunswick, Maine

 

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  
A -
Bowdoin College has formalized its commitment to sustainability through its master plan, environmental mission statement, and a climate action plan released in 2010. Three sustainability committees on campus have addressed such issues as transportation, food, and waste reduction. The college employs a full-time sustainability coordinator and requires the purchase of efficient and/or environmentally preferable appliances, cleaning products, computers, electronics, and lighting.
The college aims to be carbon neutral by 2020, partially through the purchase of carbon offsets. Building energy consumption has decreased since 2005, and numerous energy-efficient technologies have been installed, including energy management systems, heat recovery systems, and lighting upgrades in 80 percent of campus building space. The campus features two solar hot water systems, and a geothermal heating system provides heat for 4.3 percent of the campus.
Dining services spends 41 percent of its food budget on local products, including fruits and vegetables from an on-campus garden. Thirty percent of eggs served are cage free, and 10 percent of beef is confinement free and vegetarian fed. All yogurt and sour cream purchases are hormone free, and a variety of seafood purchases meet sustainability guidelines. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at 80 percent of meals, and traditional and electronic materials are recycled.
Bowdoin follows LEED guidelines for new construction and renovations. Four campus buildings are LEED certified and nine buildings meet LEED criteria. Water consumption has decreased since 2005 due to the installation of low-flow faucets, greywater systems, and efficient washing machines.
Eco-reps help integrate sustainability into new student orientation, and the college offers four paid student sustainability internships. Last year, the annual Energy Conservation Dorm Competition resulted in a 22 percent reduction in electricity use compared to the previous year. There are at least six sustainability-themed organizations at Bowdoin, including Green Global Initiatives, which recently hosted a panel of women in sustainable professions.
Bowdoin helps fund a shuttle service for the local community and offers preferred parking to faculty and staff who carpool. The student-run Yellow Bike Club provides access to the college's 40 new bikes with a one-time, $15 membership fee. The campus fleet includes seven hybrid vehicles, and the college runs a car-sharing program.
The college makes only asset allocation information available to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category is accessible online to the public.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. Bowdoin is considering investment managers who take account of environmental and sustainability factors.
The college provides its investment managers with specific guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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