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Report Card 2011

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $159 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Geneva, New York


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  
B +
Hobart and William Smith Colleges have demonstrated a commitment to the environment through a formal sustainability policy. Two sustainability committees have worked on a number of initiatives, including creating a climate action plan, completing a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, creating an on-site biodiesel manufacturing plant, funding energy efficiency improvements on campus, and approving six student intern positions. The colleges have a sustainability office and a full-time sustainability coordinator.
Through a combination of energy efficiency, conservation, and offsets, the colleges aim to be carbon neutral by 2025. A 7 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions has been achieved since 2008 through the use of programs and technologies such as temperature setbacks, energy management systems, heat recovery systems, HVAC system upgrades, LED lighting, lighting sensors, temperature control timers, and vending machine sensors.
Dining services at the colleges purchases a variety of local foods, including produce, meat, and dairy. Fair trade coffee, chocolate, and tea is also served on campus. In order to reduce waste, used cooking oil is recycled for biodiesel production, and pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals. Some excess food is donated to a local soup kitchen, and some meals are trayless.
The colleges require that all new construction and major renovation projects meet LEED Silver standards or higher, and the campuses currently include two buildings that meet LEED criteria and one Energy Star-labeled building. The colleges have also completed a variety of projects to repurpose existing building space. In order to reduce water consumption, the colleges have installed low-flow faucets and showerheads in some buildings.
Environmental student groups at the colleges have worked on a variety of initiatives, including conducting a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and holding panel discussions on environmental issues. Several sustainability competitions have led to a 7 percent increase in recycling rates. Students may live in the Green House, where they learn to live sustainable lifestyles, and environmental themes are incorporated into orientation.
Nearly all of the student body commutes to campus via environmentally preferable means such as biking, walking, and public transportation. The school offers a free shuttle service to on- and off-campus destinations. A free bike-sharing program is also available to the school community.
The colleges make a list of all holdings available online to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The colleges do not make their shareholder voting records public.
The colleges aim to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The colleges ask that their investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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