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Report Card 2010

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Berea College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Berea College

School details:

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Endowment: $791 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Berea, Kentucky

Enrollment: 1,549

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
B +
The Department of Sustainability and Environmental Studies works to guide and support Berea's efforts to practice sustainability in addition to integrating conceptual learning about sustainability into the curriculum. Recent projects of the Campus Environmental Policy Committee, which includes two student members, include the design of sustainability indicators for the college and participation in land-use decisions made by the college.
Berea's Loyal Jones Appalachian Center is the site of a 15,000-watt photovoltaic collection center that began operating in spring 2009. The campus also has six solar hot water systems. More efficient bulbs replace incandescent bulbs as they burn out, and signage in campus buildings and residence halls remind community members to conserve energy.
Berea purchases produce, meat, and grains from the Berea College Gardens, which are certified organic and staffed by students. The college purchases a number of organic dry goods and sustainably produced eggs and meat. Ten percent of the tea and rice, as well as all coffee served in dining, retail, and catering operations, is fair trade. The dining hall is transitioning to trayless dining, and 90 percent of food waste is composted.
Berea applies ecological design principles to all redesign and renovation projects. One campus building is LEED-certified, and nine more meet LEED-EB criteria. Low-flow water technology has been installed in dormitories and campus buildings. The EcoVillage has a greywater system and one of the academic buildings has a rainwater system.
The EcoVillage at Berea is a residential community situated in a complex that includes wetlands, a permaculture food forest, individual gardens, and a wastewater treatment system that brings sewage to reuse quality. The student group Helping Earth and Learning has advocated successfully for several water-saving initiatives both on campus and in the surrounding community.
Residents of the EcoVillage can check out a hybrid vehicle for free if two or more students are riding; students driving alone must pay a gas fee. Volunteering at the bicycle cooperative for ten hours earns community members the opportunity to build themselves a bike from used frames and parts. The college operates a 12-passenger van that provides transportation into town several times a week. The campus fleet includes 13 hybrid and 3 electric vehicles.
The college makes a list of external managers and a list of mutual funds available to the public in its audited financial report. The college does not make the shareholder voting records of it mutual funds or other commingled funds public.
The college aims to optimize its investment return within prudent risk parameters and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The college does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the public equity portion of the endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled funds.
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