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Report Card 2009

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Wheaton College (MA)
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Wheaton College (MA)

School details:

Endowment: $187 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Norton, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 1,538

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  
A sustainability committee, consisting of students, faculty, and staff, meets monthly to discuss Wheaton's actions and policies regarding the environmental impact of the college, as well as to make actionable policy recommendations. The committee and the Wheaton Staff Council are both committed to reducing carbon emissions and actively work to educate the campus community regarding issues of global warming.
The college recently entered into a partnership to improve energy efficiency in four buildings on campus. One effort consists of installing high-efficiency lighting in the library along with sensors to automatically control lighting. The project will lower the college's carbon footprint by 8,173 metric tons of carbon dioxide over ten years.
The dining services department participates in campus sustainability initiatives, as well as the campus-wide recycling program, and trains employees on proper sustainable practices. The college offers some fair trade and organic items, and purchases produce, bread, and milk from local sources. Eco-friendly to-go packaging is scheduled to be introduced.
Green features will be integrated into the construction of a new science building, with LEED Silver certification as the goal.
Environmental sustainability was a theme for the new-student summer assignment in 2007 and 2008. The Sustainability Committee, which was created as a result of student concern, and the Eco Club, spearhead sustainability initiatives. Themed houses, such as the ECCO House, engage in composting and gray water collection for reuse on a daily basis. The university is negotiating summer internships for sustainability in residence life.
The public safety department uses a hybrid vehicle, has added bicycles to its fleet, and is working with students to explore alternative fuels for the rest of its vehicles. The regional transit service is available for free to students, staff, and faculty, and reserved parking spaces are available for carpoolers.
Requests from select members of the school community, or any other public requests for information on endowment holdings and proxy voting records, are reviewed and authorized by senior management. The information is available in the investment office and on a password-protected website, and may also be sent by request.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable resource funds.
A committee of administrators and trustees deliberates and makes decisions on proxy votes.
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