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Report Card 2011

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College of the Atlantic
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Courtesy of College of the Atlantic

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $20 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Bar Harbor, Maine


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


An application was submitted by Donna Gold to have this school evaluated in the College Sustainability Report Card 2011 .  A grant was awarded and a contribution was made to cover the cost of inclusion.  Learn more about how a school can apply for inclusion.   


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  
The Campus Committee for Sustainability recently improved battery recycling and composting and helped eliminate bottled water on campus. All new appliances purchased for the campus are Energy Star certified; all fertilizers are organic; and cleaning products are eco friendly. Eighty percent of purchased paper is made from recycled material and is FSC-certified. A revolving loan fund finances sustainability projects on campus.
The college has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent from 2006 levels by 2015. Emissions have decreased 35 percent since the college began purchasing electricity solely from a low-impact hydropower plant. New student residences feature heat recovery ventilation systems, efficient lighting and sensors, and electricity metering, among other energy-saving technologies. A wood pellet boiler heats 30 percent of building space.
Dining services spends 32 percent of its food budget on organic items. All eggs and meat served in the dining halls are free range; almost all meat and dairy is hormone and antibiotic free, and all coffee is fair trade. Trays and bottled water have been removed from all dining locations. The dining halls compost pre- and postconsumer food scraps, as well as compostable dishware, and compost bins are available around campus.
The college strives to make all buildings as energy efficient as possible. Three new buildings meet LEED Gold criteria; only sustainably harvested wood was used in their construction, and they have composting toilets and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Parking areas use porous pavement to manage stormwater.
Orientation features presentations and hands-on activities to introduce students to sustainability. Resident advisors encourage green living among their peers. Almost all members of the Campus Committee for Sustainability are students, including the chair. Students also run the bike-sharing program and manage compost collection in dining halls.
Employees are encouraged to work from home, when feasible, to avoid carbon emissions associated with travel. A free shuttle runs at night and during the day in the winter to the nearby town. The bike-sharing program offers bikes for students to borrow for free, with repairs at no cost. Fifty-seven percent of commuter students travel to campus via environmentally preferable methods.
The college makes information about all holdings available to all members of the school community upon request. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category, as well as asset allocation information, is available to the public upon request.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds.
The college asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting. An advisory committee that includes students makes proxy voting recommendations to the board.
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