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Report Card 2009

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Bowdoin College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Bowdoin College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $828 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Brunswick, Maine

Enrollment: 1,677

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 Mills signed the Presidents Climate Commitment, and the Bowdoin environmental mission statement commits the school to "integrate environmental awareness and responsibility throughout the college community." The Environmental Management System provides a framework to assess the feasibility, cost, and impact of existing and proposed environmental programs, a methodology for benchmarking progress, and guidelines for documenting and auditing such programs. Sustainable Bowdoin organizes several initiatives, including a large Eco-Rep program for both students and faculty.
Bowdoin is pursuing climate neutrality. Through a combination of independent contracts, Maine's existing Renewable Portfolio Standard, and renewable energy credits, the college purchases all of its electricity from renewable sources. Bowdoin utilizes closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling for on-site renewable energy in four campus buildings. The college has committed to replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
In addition to offering numerous fair trade and organic products, dining services works with nearly 100 local producers to purchase 27 percent of its food. The 2007 harvest from the Bowdoin Organic Garden provided $17,000 worth of produce to the campus and local hunger prevention programs. The 2008 harvest is expected to yield even more. The college has a comprehensive recycling program.
The college has developed its own guidelines for sustainable design. Bowdoin seeks LEED certification for all new construction. Two residence halls are LEED Silver-certified and the college has registered two additional projects for certification, including a LEED-certified ice rink.
Students are central to the sustainability movement at Bowdoin, organizing events and initiatives like Focus the Nation, an organic garden, and expansions of the recycling program. The Sustainable Bowdoin office employs student assistants and also runs an Eco-Rep program. The school organizes inter-dorm energy and reusable mug competitions.
Membership to the Bowdoin Yellow Bike Club grants access to the yellow community bikes on campus. There are six hybrids in the vehicle fleet. The college operates a rideshare board and a shuttle service to local towns, and participates in a commercial car-sharing program.
The college makes neither its proxy voting record nor its list of endowment holdings public.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
The college provides its investment managers with guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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