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Report Card 2009

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Macalester College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Macalester College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $676 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: St Paul, Minnesota

Enrollment: 1,900

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 +
President Rosenberg signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and the college is a signatory to the Talloires Declaration. The college employs a full-time sustainability manager, a part-time sustainability associate for the current academic year, and four student sustainability workers.
Macalester completed a carbon emissions inventory in May 2008. A clean energy revolving loan fund provides financial resources for energy reduction and efficiency projects on campus, and the college has a demonstration wind turbine.
The college purchases at least 10 percent of its food from local sources, including a student-run garden and a local dairy. The college is working toward implementing a zero-waste policy, including a graduation gown re-use program. In addition to biodegradable food containers, Macalester is introducing a reusable to-go container check-out and return program in its dining halls.
In summer 2008 the college opened a recreation facility that reused or recycled 93.3 percent of its demolition materials, and a LEED Platinum building is under construction and will open in spring 2009. A student EcoHouse has solar-thermal water, vermiculture composting, energy-efficient appliances, and water-saving fixtures. Two green roofs have been installed since 2006 by the student group Mac Cares.
Macalester offers a website on sustainable living for new students. Students are highly involved in sustainability groups on campus and focus on various issues such as climate change, campus transportation and biking, and environmental health.
Macalester offers an open bike workshop, inexpensive used bikes, and a bike-share through the Mac Bike program. Hourly car-share programs are also available on campus. Public transit passes are offered at a 50 percent discount for all faculty, staff, and students.
The college does not make a list of endowment holdings public. Its shareholder voting record is disclosed to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the community.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development loan funds as well as renewable energy funds. Macalester also invests in funds that support clean technology and sustainable forestry.
The college provides its investment managers with guidelines that determine its proxy votes. A committee consisting of two students, three faculty members, four staff members, and one alumni representative makes recommendations to the proxy subcommittee of the board of trustees on votes involving social issues.
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