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Report Card 2011

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Wesleyan University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

  Compare with another school

B+
Courtesy of Wesleyan University

School details:

  Grade lower than last year

 

Endowment: $476 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Middletown, Connecticut

 

Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

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 +
The Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship and the Office of Sustainability coordinate campus efforts. Wesleyan has a formal sustainability policy and climate action plan. The university funds sustainability projects using utility rebates and a student green fee and requires the purchase of energy-efficient appliances.
Wesleyan has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Energy-saving improvements include energy management systems and high-efficiency lighting and sensors. The campus generates most of its electricity from a natural gas cogeneration facility and has installed on-site geothermal and solar.
Dining services has begun tracking purchases by type and aims to spend 20 percent of its food budget locally. All beef, chicken, turkey, and milk is hormone and antibiotic free. Dining facilities serve only fair trade coffee, are trayless, and compost 80 percent of preconsumer food waste. The university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
Wesleyan is currently reviewing a green building policy, which will mandate LEED Silver certification for all new construction, as well as a green maintenance policy. The university has two LEED buildings and one that meets LEED criteria. To conserve water, the campus has installed dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads.
The Environmental Organizers Network promotes sustainable practices through such measures as three energy and waste reduction competitions and passing a student green fee. The university employs two sustainability interns, who also give presentations to new students. The Farm House offers a living and learning environment focused on sustainable food and agriculture.
Wesleyan offers a free shuttle to campus locations, the nearby train station, and the commuter lot. The university sponsors a ride-sharing website and partners with a vanpooling service. A transportation subcommittee has conducted a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and commuting audit of the campus.
Wesleyan makes a list of all endowment holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, available on a password-protected website to all members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring investment in community development loan funds and campus efficiency projects. Currently, the endowment is invested in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental factors, and donors can request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
An advisory committee with five students, two faculty, two alumni representatives, and two staff makes proxy voting recommendations to the board of trustees. School community feedback is also incorporated into proxy voting decisions through town hall meetings.
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