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Report Card 2009

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Whitman College
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Whitman College

School details:

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Endowment: $391 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Walla Walla, Washington

Enrollment: 1,481

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  
Whitman College has adopted a set of environmental principles encouraging recycling, eco-friendly purchasing, and energy efficiency. Whitman recently created a $100,000 revolving loan fund for sustainability projects. The associate to the president chairs the Conservation and Recycling Committee and many students, staff, and faculty serve on various sustainability committees and projects.
In 2007, through student fundraising efforts, Whitman purchased more than 36 percent of its electricity through a program that supports sustainable energy sources. Whitman is party to the Western Climate Initiative, which sets regional greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. The college features demonstration solar panels on the top of the Environmental Studies Interest House.
Local food options from 25 producers are available on the cafeteria menu, as well as fair trade coffee and tea and cage-free eggs. Students can provide their own to-go containers, and reusable dishware is used at four out of five dining locations. The college maintains a comprehensive recycling program.
Whitman’s policy requires that all new construction be designed to meet LEED standards. Examples include the Reid Campus Center and three other projects, as well as extensive renovations to the athletic center.
Through the Conservation Committee, the college employs a campus sustainability coordinator student intern who serves as a liaison and resource for student groups. The Campus Greens is a member of the Campus Climate Challenge and manages various campus programs, including the Paper Campaign, sustainability fundraising, and an alternative energy group. A student-run organic farm on campus employs student interns.
The campus community has access to the local bus system, which has a route on campus, for a fee of 25 cents per trip. Whitman is a bike- and pedestrian-friendly campus. With over 750 designated spaces for bike parking on campus, the bike-to-car parking space ratio is 1.5 to 1.
The college makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public. This information is available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The college aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The majority of the college's endowment is invested in mutual funds or commingled accounts. However, for the funds in separately managed accounts, the college asks that its investment managers handle proxy voting.
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