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Report Card 2011

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Mount Holyoke College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Mount Holyoke College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $559 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: South Hadley, Massachusetts


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 Environmental Stewardship Steering Committee works to implement sustainability programs in all realms of campus life and recently created the Green Living Council, a student program that promotes sustainability in residence halls. Multiple staff devote time to on-campus sustainability initiatives. The college regularly purchases Energy Star-qualified appliances, EPEAT-certified electronics, and environmentally preferable paper products.
Mount Holyoke has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 21.8 percent since 2003 and is committed to further decrease emissions levels 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The college has reduced building energy consumption by 8 percent since 2005 through measures such as energy management systems, lighting upgrades, and electric metering. A solar hot water system generates 141,000 BTUs of energy annually.
Dining services spends approximately 20 percent of its food budget on local products. Organic, vegetarian-fed, and hormone- and antibiotic-free food items are served on campus, as is sustainably harvested seafood. Fair trade coffee is available, and students receive a 10 percent discount for bringing a reusable mug. Pre- and postconsumer food waste is composted at all meals, and electronics are recycled in addition to traditional materials.
Mount Holyoke designs new construction projects to meet LEED Silver standards or the equivalent. The college currently has five LEED-certified buildings, including a Gold-level residence hall. Annual water consumption has been reduced by more than three million gallons due to measures such as weather-informed irrigation and the campus-wide installation of water-saving washing machines and low-flow faucets.
The student-run Environmental Action Coalition works to promote environmental stewardship, and the Food Justice Society hosts sustainability-themed potlucks, film screenings, and field trips to local farms. Four paid eco-reps and members of the Green Living Council work to develop education programs focused on green living within residence halls. Since 1989, the Kill-a-Watt Energy Conservation Competition has saved more than 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in residence halls.
All members of the school community have free access to local public transportation. The college provides shuttle service to local grocery stores and malls and runs LyonShare, a car-sharing program. The campus fleet contains three electric vehicles and two hybrids.
The college only makes asset allocation information available on a password-protected website to all members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumnae.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment has a small allocation to community development loan funds and to socially responsible mutual funds.
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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