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Report Card 2011

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Providence College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Providence College

School details:

Endowment: $143 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Providence, Rhode Island


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 Gale Gennaro 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 -
Providence College's director of environmental health and safety coordinates sustainability projects on campus, and the college has a website devoted to sustainability. Online e-newsletters sent to faculty and staff include sustainability tips. In fall 2010, the college will have the structure of a sustainability committee in place.
In 2009, Providence College completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory reaching back to 2005. The college uses an energy management system in all buildings and conducts audits of individual energy use. All fire exit signs use LED bulbs, and there is a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic array on campus.
The college purchases some organic vegetables and fruit from local producers. All coffee served on campus is fair trade, and milk is hormone and antibiotic free. Student dining halls have been trayless since 2009. The college’s annual move-out waste reduction campaign recovered 2,600 pounds of clothing and 2,800 pounds of food in 2009. PC recycles used fryer oil for biodiesel production, recycles all traditional materials, and runs an electronic waste recycling program. Furniture donations to local charities occur throughout the year.
PC has retrocommissioned HVAC systems in 14 buildings as of summer 2010. Dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals have been installed, and low-flow showerheads and faucets are in all residence halls and athletic facilities. All administration buildings also have low-flow faucets. Lighting sensors are used in 50 percent of buildings.
At orientation, resident assistants incorporate principles of sustainability into presentations made to new students. The Student Environmental Action Coalition has received support from the faculty senate and student congress in its efforts to reinstate environmental studies as an academic major and minor at Providence College. The group is also working with the administration to establish a sustainability committee. Students organize Earth Day activates each year.
Providence College offers a free bus pass for the local transit system to all students and provides a shuttle service to take students around town. The college’s master plan includes a phased approach to removing campus roadways in order to create a pedestrian-friendly campus.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to trustees and senior administrators and sends the information upon request.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds. The college uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
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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