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Report Card 2011

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Smith College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Smith College

School details:

Endowment: $1,273 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Northampton, 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 -
Smith College is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and a component in its strategic plan. A sustainability committee oversees programming on campus, and the Office of Environmental Sustainability was founded in 2008. The college requires the purchase of efficient appliances and computers, as well as environmentally preferable paper products. A staff Green Team and a Tip of the Week program encourage campus community members to lessen their environmental footprint.
The college has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 12 percent since 1990 and is committed to a 29 percent reduction by 2015. Energy consumption has decreased through the installation of efficiency technologies such as economizers and lighting sensors. In 2010, the school worked with students to conduct an energy audit. Renewable energy is generated through a 29-kilowatt photovoltaic system on the campus center.
Over 10 percent of Smith’s food budget is allocated to local purchases. The college also buys organic products, fair trade coffee, and exclusively hormone- and antibiotic-free milk and yogurt. One-third of all seafood purchases meet sustainability guidelines. Smith encourages the use of reusable containers and bags for takeout food and composts pre- and postconsumer food waste at 70 percent of meals.
Smith is committed to LEED Silver as the minimum standard for construction projects. Ford Hall is a LEED Gold building, and Conway House is Energy Star certified. Water-efficient laundry technology and low-flow showerheads have been installed in every building, and the campus includes living roofs for stormwater management.
The college employs eight interns and numerous eco-reps. Morrow House residents provide leadership for environmental events, and new students learn about sustainability at orientation. Students participate in three competitions each year to promote waste reduction and energy conservation, and groups such as the Community Garden and the Bike Kitchen work to make the campus a more sustainable place to live and work.
Smith employees have access to two ride-matching services and receive monetary incentives for commuting via environmentally preferable methods. Campus community members can use the local public transit system free of charge. Smith runs a bike-sharing program, offers bike repairs, and partners with a car-sharing program.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the campus community. Only asset allocation information is made available to the general public. The information is available at the investment office. The college does not make the shareholder voting record of its commingled funds public.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and is currently invested in community development loan 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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