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Report Card 2011

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Mills College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Mills College

School details:

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Endowment: $165 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Oakland, California


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  
The Mills College Sustainability Committee works to implement sustainability programs across campus and completed a climate action plan in early 2010. The Sustainability Center employs a full-time coordinator and maintains a website detailing green initiatives on campus. A formal green purchasing policy encourages the purchase of Energy Star appliances, EPEAT-certified electronics, and environmentally preferable paper products.
Mills has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent from 2007 levels by 2015. The college has implemented numerous technologies and programs to reduce energy, including energy management systems, HVAC system upgrades, and lighting upgrades. Renewable energy is generated on campus with a 30-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array.
Dining services spends at least 25 percent of its food budget on local products, including produce sourced from an on-campus community garden. All seafood served on campus meets sustainability guidelines, and organic, fair trade, vegetarian-fed, and hormone- and antibiotic-free food products are also purchased. Students receive reusable to-go containers, and discounts are offered for using a reusable mug. The college composts pre- and postconsumer food waste at all meals and recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
The college mandates that all new construction meet LEED Silver standards. The natural sciences building is LEED Platinum certified, and the business school is LEED Gold certified. Mills has undertaken water conservation efforts such as the installation of a rainwater collection system used to flush toilets, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and efficient laundry machines. Between 50 and 75 percent of the water used for campus landscaping is from recovered, reclaimed, or untreated sources, including from Mills’ on-campus Lake Aliso.
The student organization Earth CORPS runs a green dorm competition, and members of the group Food Matters recently held a solar cooking demonstration. Students run a year-round materials exchange program called the Re-Use Depot, and Larsen House Co-op houses students dedicated to raising environmental awareness on campus.
As part of their student fees, Mills students have access to public transportation throughout the San Francisco Bay area, and the college runs a shuttle to local destinations. Preferential parking is offered for drivers of hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles, and a car-sharing program and online ride-share board reduce vehicular traffic on campus. The college fleet includes eight electric vehicles and two hybrids.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The college does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The college asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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