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Report Card 2009

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Wellesley College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Wellesley College

School details:

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Endowment: $1,657 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 2,289

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 -
In February 2007, Wellesley's president approved a campus sustainability mission statement. The Sustainability Advisory Committee advises the president on establishing priorities related to sustainability issues and works to increase community awareness. Four goals pertaining to landscape, water conservation, and waste and energy-use reduction were developed by the committee and approved by the president.
Wellesley reduces energy consumption by upgrading mechanical systems and lighting, by employing aggressive energy management, and by initiating conservation measures, including education and awareness. The college has completed a carbon emissions inventory. Wellesley's cogeneration plant runs at 85 percent efficiency and generates all of the electricity needed for the campus.
The college sources local products from several suppliers, including meats, baked goods, and dairy products. An organic farm run by students will begin to sell produce to dining halls in fall 2008. The recycling program has been refined, increasing the diversion rate for spring 2008 by 43 percent compared to spring 2007. Biodegradable plasticware and corn cups are used in the campus center.
Wellesley has committed to initiating a sustainability review for all new construction and renovation projects, utilizing LEED standards as a guide. The college is pursuing LEED certification for a major renovation project that is currently in the design stage. Wellesley has renovation and new construction practices in place that emphasize energy efficiency and efficient land and water use.
Wellesley promotes sustainability in new student orientation and runs an Eco-Rep program. The Sustainability Advisory Committee coordinates its efforts with campus groups. The student-run group, Energy and Environmental Defense, has spearheaded many initiatives on campus, including recycling and lightbulb exchanges. The college runs energy conservation competitions in residence halls.
Wellesley is experimenting with electric vehicles and hosts a car-sharing program. The college contracts a bus service and recently added service to a main commuter rail station.
The college makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles. Sustainability is among the factors considered by investment managers when making investment decisions.
A committee including two students, two faculty members, the president, and three trustees deliberates and makes recommendations or decisions on proxy votes.
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