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Report Card 2009

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Colgate University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Colgate University

School details:

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Endowment: $704 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Hamilton, New York

Enrollment: 2,831

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  
Colgate's strategic plan for sustainability-related initiatives includes a green purchasing policy. The university has approved the hire of a full-time sustainability coordinator to start in 2008–2009. The Environmental Council serves to encourage the development of Colgate's environmental vision by advising the university, assisting with environmental audits, and promoting initiatives. The university is the principal funder of the Partnership for Community Development, a nonprofit collaboration between Colgate and its town and village to enhance local economic development.
A wood-chip-burning plant meets approximately 70 percent of the university's total heating needs. Some electricity-saving measures have been taken, such as the purchase of Energy Star appliances and the installation of motion sensors. Students have compiled a greenhouse gas inventory.
Colgate is working with local suppliers to procure meat, poultry, fish, and dairy, as well as seasonal produce. All disposable cutlery is biodegradable, and there is a reusable mug program. Paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, and glass are recycled, as well as printer cartridges. Leaf waste is transported to local farms for cow bedding.
Colgate's architectural consultants are required to be LEED-accredited, and building projects routinely follow LEED Silver standards. The new Ho Science Center has been built with heat-recovery technology and the latest energy-efficient lighting systems.
Students for Environmental Action works on various sustainability-related projects and the student government has created a new environmental position on the executive board. Green Earth Gang promotes environmental awareness among local elementary school children.
Colgate's free, community-wide shuttle buses are equipped with EPA-approved, low-emission diesel engines. To discourage driving to campus, student parking is restricted. A Green Bikes program rents bikes to students for a small yearly fee.
Information on endowment holdings is made primarily available to the school community, but also is available to the public upon request. This information can be obtained at the treasurer's office.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not currently invest in renewable energy funds.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in commingled funds or limited partnerships.
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