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Report Card 2011

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Colorado School of Mines
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Colorado School of Mines

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $148 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Golden, Colorado


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

Student Survey: No


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 Sustainability Committee has advocated for improved energy efficiency on campus, as well as the development of a green building policy, use of reusable dishware in dining halls, establishment of composting and single-stream recycling, and use of efficient fleet vehicles. A procurement policy encourages the purchase of environmentally preferable products whenever possible. The operating budget provides money annually for energy conservation projects.
The school is working on its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory and, to reduce energy use, has implemented temperature setbacks and installed steam trap systems, economizers, energy management systems, electric and steam metering, steam line insulation, and lighting upgrades in almost all buildings, among other projects. Campaigns encourage members of the campus community to reduce their energy consumption and to shut fume hood sashes in science labs when not in use.
The school spends 17 percent of its food budget on local products, including vegetables, meat, and dairy. To reduce waste, discounts are given to those who use reusable mugs, and used cooking oil is recycled for biofuel. At the end of the year, students can donate their unwanted items during move-out rather than throwing them away. The college recycles electronic waste in addition to traditional materials.
Mines has a policy to construct all new buildings to a minimum of LEED Silver standards, with a goal of Gold standards. There are currently two LEED buildings under construction and three in the design phase. To reduce water use, water metering has been installed in all buildings, and low-flow fixtures are used in some buildings.
First-year students are taught about the principles of sustainability through presentations by resident assistants and during a zero-waste meal at orientation. The student group Earthworks organizes a series of Earth Week events, including a nature clean-up, speakers, movie screenings, and a celebration with live music, free food, informational booths, and the opportunity to recycle less traditional materials.
Students are given free passes to ride public transportation. To encourage a pedestrian-friendly campus, the school is pushing parking lots to the perimeter of campus and increasing parking rates as well as closing off roads through the center of campus.
The Colorado School of Mines Foundation makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community upon request. The foundation does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual/commingled funds public.
The foundation aims to strike a balance between preservation of the endowment principal and optimizing returns with an acceptable level of risk. The foundation is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The foundation is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled funds.
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