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Report Card 2009

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

  Compare with another school

C-
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $385 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 3,817

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  
C -
The President’s Task Force on Sustainability is charged with promoting and coordinating sustainability efforts, both in education and in campus operations and facilities. A Sustainability at WPI website was launched in March 2008 that provides a space for the campus community to learn about and engage in reducing WPI's ecological footprint.
The institute conducted a major program to replace lighting with energy-efficient designs, install room occupancy sensors in renovated classrooms, and replace the campus boiler system with energy-efficient units that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, a team of students initiated the development of a campus greenhouse gas emissions inventory as a first step toward understanding and targeting programs to reduce emissions.
WPI spends approximately 2 to 4 percent of its food budget on locally grown items. In addition, the institute contracts with a vendor that sources local dairy products, and purchases only cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free pork and chicken. Dining services is encouraging waste reduction by providing a reusable coffee mug to freshmen and offering a discount with use of the mug. Cooking oil is recycled. The institute recently expanded its recycling program, resulting in a 13 percent diversion rate.
In February 2007, the board of trustees passed a resolution stating that all new buildings be designed to achieve LEED certification. One building project is LEED-certified, and the newest residence hall, which will feature a green roof, is expected to achieve at least LEED Silver certification. The institute is also designing a major new recreation center to LEED standards.
The Global Awareness of Environmental Activity student organization promotes sustainability awareness on campus. The Task Force on Sustainability is organizing events and competitions focused on energy conservation. Students are involved in projects such as developing the sustainability website and the greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
The institute is implementing a commercial car-sharing program on campus and has provided dedicated parking spaces for carpoolers and hybrid vehicles in the new parking garage.
The institute makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public. Endowment holdings information is available only to trustees and senior administrators and the institute does not receive information on shareholder voting records from the fund managers.
The institute aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The institute asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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