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Report Card 2009

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Berea College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Berea College

School details:

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Endowment: $1,102 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Berea, Kentucky

Enrollment: 1,556

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research and survey responses from schools. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methodology  section.

Overall grade  
President Shinn signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and the college has made an institutional commitment to pursue sustainability. Thirteen full-time employees work on Berea's sustainability initiatives. The ad-hoc Subcommittee on Sustainability II was formed in the fall of 2007 to review all aspects of the college's sustainability efforts.
Berea has set a goal to cut emissions 65 percent by 2015. The college recently upgraded its heating plant from coal to natural gas, producing a nearly total reduction of NOx and SOx emissions. The school purchases Energy Star-rated appliances when possible.
Through a collaboration between dining services and the Local Food Initiative, Berea purchases food from numerous local sources, including nine farms and two co-ops. The campus farm provides the school with organic produce, beef, and pork. Berea serves numerous fair trade products and only purchases fair trade coffee. Ninety percent of food waste is composted at the campus farm. The school's comprehensive recycling program has a 36 percent diversion rate.
Berea uses its own set of ecological design principles for construction projects, although the administration building is LEED-certified. The Ecovillage operates under rigorous performance goals, mandating a 75 percent reduction in energy- and water-use, and a 50 percent waste diversion rate. The village has a photovoltaic array, passive solar heating, and an "ecological machine," which treats wastewater via a system of bacteria, snails, plants, and fish.
Helping the Earth and Learning is a student-led environmental organization that encourages energy conservation through its 10x10 Campaign. The college offers numerous sustainability-related, work-study opportunities, and the Compton Internship in Ecological Design gives students the opportunity to design and execute sustainable projects on or off campus.
The campus vehicle fleet includes 3 hybrids and 13 small electric carts. In addition to a free car-share program for residents of the Ecovillage, Berea also operates a 12-passenger van to provide transportation for students to local towns. Students are discouraged from bringing cars to campus, and priority parking is available to carpools. Berea Bikes is a student-run co-op that fixes, rents, and builds bicycles for the college community.
The college makes a list of endowment holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community.
The college aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The college does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual or index funds.
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