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Report Card 2009

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Boston College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Boston College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,670 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 14,561

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  
B -
Environmental sustainability figures prominently in Boston College's master plan, and the school is developing an emissions reduction strategy. Two multi-stakeholder groups, the Campus Sustainability Advisory Council and Sustain BC, advise the college on sustainability issues. The newly formed sustainability and energy management office, headed by a full-time director, manages all sustainability initiatives and programs for the college.
The college routinely performs energy efficiency upgrades and has reduced its annual energy consumption by 8 million kilowatt-hours. Forty-nine percent of the college's electricity comes from renewable sources, and the college has partnered with a company that offers renewable energy credits to help offset some of its emissions. BC is also developing an emissions reduction program.
Dining services offers a variety of fair trade and organic products and works with numerous local growers and producers to purchase 28 percent of its food. The school uses biodegradable to-go products and has a composting program. The college's comprehensive recycling program accepts all materials, including electronics, and has a 75 percent diversion rate.
New construction will meet LEED-certified specifications, at a minimum. The college devotes more than $1 million annually to energy conservation projects and renovations.
The student group Ecopledge organizes a variety of environmental events, including RecycleMania and Earth Day. Real Food BC works with dining services to increase the use of local, sustainable, and humanely raised food. The school also has an inter-dorm recycling and energy competition. BConservers hires student interns.
The college offers a variety of incentives to use alternative transportation, including discounts on carpool parking permits, commercial car-sharing program membership, and local transit passes. The campus has bicycle racks and lockers, some with shower facilities, and the school promoted Bike to Work Week. Facilities, campus police, and residential life utilize a fleet of light-duty electric vehicles, and the college owns one hybrid vehicle.
The college makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public. This information is available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The college is exploring, but not currently invested in, community development loan funds.
The university provides its investment managers with guidelines that determine its proxy votes. These guidelines include environmental and sustainability factors.
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