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Report Card 2011

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Wellesley College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Wellesley College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,266 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Wellesley, 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 -
Wellesley College hired a director of sustainability in 2009, and sustainability is a component in the college's master and strategic plans. The Sustainability Advisory Committee supports the Class of 1957 Alumni Green Fund, which provides grants of up to $10,000 for campus sustainability projects. All appliances purchased for the campus are Energy Star qualified, and all computers are EPEAT certified.
The college has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 16 percent from 2007 levels. The campus also generates most of its electricity, and all of its heating and cooling, from an on-site cogeneration facility. Old appliances can be traded in for more efficient models, and the college distributes compact fluorescent lightbulbs to students.
The college spends half of its food budget on local products and purchases only hormone- and antibiotic-free milk. Dining services recycles used cooking oil for biodiesel production and has conducted a food waste audit. All dining halls are trayless, and the college recycles electronics and steel in addition to traditional materials.
All major renovations at Wellesley are pursuing LEED certification, and almost all construction waste is diverted from landfills. Additionally, the college has achieved a 27 percent reduction in per capita water use since 2005 and has installed low-flow showerheads in all buildings. Vegetated roofs, porous pavement, retention ponds, and stone swales are utilized to prevent stormwater runoff.
The Sustainability Co-op provides a local-, organic-, and vegetarian-centered living environment. New student orientation features a zero-waste meal as well as presentations by resident assistants and eco-reps on campus sustainability. The Regeneration student farm organization also holds weekly farmers markets and sells food to dining services.
Students run a shuttle service to local destinations, and a car-sharing program is available on campus. The Outing Club hosts the Revolution Bike Program, which loans eight bikes and provides repair services for the campus community. The campus fleet includes two electric and twelve biodiesel vehicles.
The college makes a list of external managers, mutual funds, and votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level available to trustees and senior administrators. A list of cash holdings is available to the general public on the school's website, and a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category is made available online to the entire school community.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The college also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
An advisory committee with two students, two faculty members, and five trustees makes proxy voting recommendations to the investment committee.
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