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Report Card 2011

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Carleton College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Carleton College

School details:

Endowment: $580 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Northfield, Minnesota


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 -
Carleton has an formal sustainability policy. The Environmental Advisory Committee works to implement sustainability programs and recently assisted in hiring a manager of energy and sustainability. Energy efficiency projects are funded by the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund.
Two dorms have energy monitoring systems that display energy usage by floor and suite; total campus energy consumption is also displayed in the campus center. Various technologies have been installed to improve energy efficiency, including lighting upgrades on the majority of campus. The college achieved a 9 percent reduction in carbon emissions between 2004 and 2008.
Dining services spends 33 percent of the annual food budget on local products. All shell eggs used in the dining halls are cage free; all milk and poultry is hormone free; and all seafood is sustainably harvested. Coffee served on campus is exclusively fair trade. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted, and there are composting bins in every dorm and in the library. Printing is automatically set to duplex.
All new construction is built to LEED Silver standards, and there are two LEED Gold buildings on campus. Low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets have been installed in almost all buildings, contributing to a 20 percent reduction in water usage since 2005. The campus also features porous pavement and a green roof.
Student groups run the Green Wars inter-dorm competition, restore bikes, clean up local ecosystems, and address food issues. Student interns have been active in implementing low-flow showerheads and compost bins throughout campus. Incoming first-years are educated about sustainability through presentations in residence halls, hands-on activities, speakers, and a zero-waste meal.
Employees are encouraged to carpool with the Van-Go program, which allows them to share a van to work. The Green Bikes program lends bikes to students, and Yellow Bikes are stationed around campus and available for anyone to use; both are free. The college also partners with a car-sharing program. Nearly all vehicles in the campus fleet run on alternative fuels.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community upon request. Asset allocation information and a list of equity holdings is available at the investment office to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is sent upon request to all members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. The college also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
An advisory committee of students and faculty makes proxy voting recommendations to investment managers, and school community feedback is incorporated into proxy voting decisions.
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