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Report Card 2009

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Skidmore College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Skidmore College

School details:

Endowment: $290 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Saratoga Springs, New York

Enrollment: 2,691

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 -
Skidmore College emphasizes the importance of sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint in its strategic plan, strategic action agenda, and campus master plan. The college hired a new campus sustainability coordinator and has a campus environmental committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students.
A Skidmore class conducted a carbon emissions inventory; the college has started its own inventory scheduled for completion this year. A draft climate commitment in process is also scheduled for completion this year. Skidmore uses an extensive amount of geothermal technology in 11 buildings, with several more in the design or construction stages.
Skidmore purchases food from seven local farms and nine local producers. A farmers' market provides fresh produce on campus, and fair trade coffee, cage-free eggs, and some organic produce is available. There is a discount for using reusable mugs and recyclable to-go containers are available. Skidmore has comprehensive recycling and spring salvage programs.
The college has established sustainable guidelines that employ LEED criteria benchmarks for assessment in the design process, including the requirement that all new buildings and major renovations be 30 percent more efficient than is required by code. Skidmore uses sustainably harvested wood for trim, as well as recycled material for roofs, doors, and steel frames.
An orientation scavenger hunt includes sustainability awareness activities. Ten Eco-Reps raise environmental awareness on campus and sustainability stewards work on campus greening projects. The campus sustainability coordinator works with student clubs, classes, and groups.
Skidmore ID holders can ride for free on regional public transit, including biodiesel bus service that the school helped put into operation. There is a carpool system and an online rideshare board. The Green Bikes program allows anyone with a Skidmore ID to check out a bike for the day. The compact campus master plan ensures a maximum ten-minute walk time to most classes.
Skidmore makes its endowment holdings available to the school community, including faculty, staff, and students. Proxy voting records are available only to trustees and senior administrators at the investment office.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and several investments have initiatives in renewable energy. The college also invests in community development loan funds.
A member of the administration determines proxy votes. The college invites members of the community to share opinions about shareholder questions and will disclose any positions they take on them.
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