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Report Card 2009

Wesleyan University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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B+

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Courtesy of Wesleyan University

School details:

 Grade higher than last year

 Endowment Sustainability Leader

 

Endowment: $711 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Middletown, Connecticut

Enrollment: 3,217

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 Roth signed the Presidents Climate Commitment, and the master plan establishes environmental stewardship as a goal for the university. The Sustainability Advisory Group recommends sustainable practices to senior staff and is charged with developing a climate action plan. The university has some green purchasing policies and released its first review of environmental sustainability in May 2008.
The university committed to the Campus Climate Pledge and will publish a carbon emissions inventory by fall 2008. The new natural gas cogeneration facility will supply 80 percent of the campus's electricity needs, and energy efficiency measures are nearly complete that will reduce annual electricity consumption by 1.3 million kilowatt-hours. The university's athletic center runs on 100 percent renewable energy.
Dining services purchases approximately 30 percent of its food from within 150 miles of the university, as well as certified-humane eggs and fair trade coffee. To reduce waste, the campus uses biodegradable and recyclable to-go containers, and runs active recycling and composting programs, using pre- and postconsumer food waste for the campus's two-acre organic farm.
The university incorporates green building standards into all renovation and construction projects. Wesleyan has one LEED-certified residence hall and two other green building projects, and is currently designing a building to LEED Gold standards.
The physical plant department plans to hire several interns for sustainability-related projects. Eight students serve on the Sustainability Advisory Group. The Environmental Organizers Network hosts events, works with the advisory group on environmental issues, and initiated an annual “Do it in the Dark” residence hall competition to reduce energy usage.
Wesleyan uses four electric vehicles for campus operations. To facilitate carpooling, an online ride board was launched in March 2008, and the university incorporated the state rideshare program into its transportation plan. A student group plans to implement a bicycle repair program to distribute abandoned bikes to the community.
The university makes its proxy voting record and a list of endowment holdings available to members of the university community on a password-protected website.
The university aims to optimize investment return, is currently invested in renewable energy funds, and is exploring investment in community development financial institutions or community development loan funds.
The Investor Responsibility Committee, comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, deliberates and makes recommendations or decisions on proxy votes.
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