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Report Card 2011

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Gustavus Adolphus College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Courtesy of Anders Bjorling

School details:

Endowment: $93 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Saint Peter, Minnesota


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 Steven Kjellgren to have this school evaluated in the College Sustainability Report Card 2011 . 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  
C +
Gustavus Adolphus College has three committees that address such sustainability-related issues as developing wind-energy capacity, implementing energy conservation programs, and developing sustainable food systems. A dedicated office staffed by a full-time director for sustainability works to coordinate environmental efforts. The college purchases a variety of Energy Star products as well as FSC-certified paper products.
The college has reduced building energy use by 15 percent since 2005 through the use of measures such as temperature setbacks, lighting retrofits, installation of vending machine sensors, and electric metering. Members of the campus community are encouraged to reduce their energy use through real-time energy monitoring displays and individual energy audits.
Dining services spends more than a third of its food budget on local products. Only fair trade coffee is served on campus; all milk is hormone and antibiotic free, and most seafood is purchased according to sustainability guidelines. Traditional materials as well as electronics are recycled, and unwanted furniture is collected during move-out.
Various water-conserving measures are utilized on campus, such as building water metering and weather-informed irrigation, as well as the installation of efficient laundry technology, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and low-flush toilets. The college uses retention ponds, stone swales, and vegetated swales to prevent stormwater runoff.
New students are introduced to sustainability issues at orientation. Student groups have worked on a number of initiatives, such as starting a drive to procure a wind turbine; hosting a vegan, green Thanksgiving; creating an environmentally themed housing option; and running Earth Week events. Several environmental competitions engage the student body in energy conservation and recycling. The college employs two paid sustainability interns.
The college offers a free shuttle service to local off-campus destinations. The college has not made public any other programs or practices that encourage or facilitate the use of alternative forms of transportation.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to trustees at the investment office. The college does not make the shareholder voting record of its commingled funds public.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in on-campus energy and water efficiency projects. The college is exploring investment in community development loan funds and renewable energy funds. The college also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors, and donors may request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
The college is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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