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Report Card 2011

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Rhodes College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Rhodes College

School details:

Endowment: $256 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Memphis, Tennessee


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 -
Rhodes College aims to incorporate sustainability into all realms of college operations and campus life. The Environmental Planning Committee oversees sustainability initiatives on campus and has completed a climate action plan. The college is working to develop a purchasing policy that incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions for appliances, electronics, office supplies, and janitorial products.
Rhodes has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. The college sponsors campaigns to encourage faculty and staff to purchase green power for their homes. To decrease energy use, Rhodes has installed energy management systems, lighting sensors, energy-efficient lighting, and variable speed drives. The college also purchases renewable power from the grid.
Dining services purchases hormone- and antibiotic-free cheese, chicken, and beef. All coffee served on campus is fair trade. Biodegradable, recycled dishware is available, and the college has eliminated Styrofoam containers from its dining facilities. In addition to traditional materials and electronics, the college recycles used cooking oil.
Rhodes' formal green building policy is nearing completion, and the college has installed low-flow showerheads and faucets in all campus buildings to reduce water consumption. Rhodes recently converted 40,000 square feet of Burrow Hall, a former library, into student services space.
Rhodes employs 12 eco-reps and introduces incoming students to principles of sustainability through presentations made by resident assistants at orientation. The student group Campus Green worked to inform the campus of phantom loads and includes weekly green living tips in the campus newsletter. The group has started a community garden, which includes a compost pile and rain-catch basins.
Rhodes offers a bike-sharing program to students free of charge and began partnering with a car-sharing program in the fall of 2010. The college conducts promotions to encourage carpooling, walking, biking, and using public transportation. The master plan seeks to make the central campus more pedestrian friendly by removing parking spaces and adding sidewalks.
The colleges makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The college also makes a list of external managers available to the public at the investment office or sends this information upon request. The college does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds public.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds. The college also 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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