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Report Card 2009

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Smith College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Smith College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,365 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Northampton, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 3,164

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 Christ signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. A new sustainability director has been hired to help integrate sustainable principles into campus operations. The Sustainability Committee and the Green Team, both composed of students, faculty, and staff, also help guide and implement sustainability practices.
Engineering students are updating a 2005 greenhouse gas inventory. The installation of efficient lighting and appliances, as well as a cogeneration system, has decreased energy consumption. A 30 percent reduction in energy use has been achieved by turning off computers during the Million Monitor Drive and by implementing temperature setbacks during breaks.
Dining services buys local produce and dairy from 25 farms, when possible, as well as fair trade and organic coffee. The college purchases soft drinks and beverages from local vendors. Grab-and-go dining offers biodegradable flatware and containers. Smith has a comprehensive recycling program and a pilot composting program.
Smith has integrated green building practices into its recent construction projects, including the Conway House and Ford Hall, which is set to be LEED-certified upon completion. Smith recycles 90 percent of used materials from facilities projects, focusing on deconstruction instead of demolition.
A new orientation program aims to expose students to the sustainability opportunities on campus. Earth reps and recycling reps help raise environmental awareness by maintaining informative bulletin boards, coordinating recycling, and providing educational programs at each house.
Smith uses a 10 percent biodiesel blend in its fleet. Employees receive $250 each year by agreeing to not drive to work. Smith affiliates ride free on Pioneer Valley buses, and the college has a contract with a car-sharing service. The Bicycle Kitchen rents bikes for $15 and teaches bike repair.
The college privately distributes to the students, faculty, and staff members of the Committee on Investor Responsibility lists of relevant holdings in the endowment when considering shareholder resolutions, proxy positions, and possible divestment or recommendations to not acquire. Proxy voting records are available to the members of the committee.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is invested in renewable energy through its private equity holdings.
Two students, two faculty members, two staff members appointed by the president, and seven members of the board of trustees comprise the Committee on Investor Responsibility, which develops voting guidelines. The committee recently adopted four new positions pertaining to sustainability and climate change.
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