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Report Card 2011

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Colorado College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Colorado College

School details:

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Endowment: $470 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado


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 -
The Campus Sustainability Council developed a green investment fund to finance sustainability projects, began a reusable to-go container program for dining halls, and recently created a website for visitors to calculate and offset their travel-related carbon emissions, among other initiatives. The college purchases only green cleaning products and Energy Star-qualified appliances and computers.
Colorado College aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020 and has implemented many energy-saving practices, including temperature setbacks, electric metering and steam line insulation in all buildings, lighting retrofits in 90 percent of buildings, and an energy management system in 65 percent.
Dining services spends 43 percent of its food budget on local products. All shell eggs served in dining halls are cage free; beef and chicken is vegetarian fed; milk, beef, and poultry is hormone and antibiotic free; seafood is sustainably harvested; and coffee is exclusively fair trade. The main dining hall features a large-scale composter. To reduce waste, all printers are set to print double-sided, and unwanted materials are exchanged in a monthly swap.
Colorado College's campus includes two LEED-certified buildings. Water use has decreased 11 percent since 2005 through water metering, leak reduction, and non-potable water usage, as well as low-flow fixtures and efficient washing machines. The campus features porous pavement to manage stormwater.
Students who live in Synergy House operate a permaculture garden and work with local organic farms. A recent semester-long campaign resulted in a 12 percent reduction in energy and increased the waste diversion rate by more than 200 percent. Student groups also work on energy retrofits, teach children about environmental issues, distribute fair trade coffee, and operate a bike-sharing and repair program, among other initiatives.
The student-run Yellow Bikes program provides 15 rental bikes for a nominal membership fee, and the student bike co-op reclaims bikes from the waste stream and provides repair services. The college offers a car-sharing program, and 32 percent of employees travel to campus via environmentally preferable methods.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is available to all members of the school community. This information is accessible at the investment office.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring endowment investment in renewable energy funds, community development loan funds, and on-campus sustainability projects. Donors may request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
Students, faculty, and staff serve on an advisory committee, which makes proxy voting recommendations to the board.
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