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Report Card 2010

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Boston College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Boston College

School details:

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Endowment: $1,340 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 11,918

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  
Environmental sustainability figures prominently in Boston College's master plan. Sustain BC is a campus sustainability committee that advises the college on sustainability issues. The Office of Sustainability and Energy Management, headed by a full-time director, manages all sustainability initiatives and programs for the college. Green purchasing policies bring a wide range of environmentally friendly products to the school.
Boston College has begun compiling a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and will follow the inventory with a plan for greenhouse gas reduction. Sub-meters in academic and administrative buildings, along with energy dashboard software, allow students and faculty to track their electricity usage in real time. The college will also be supplied 37.5 percent renewable energy by January 2009.
Dining services spends 53 percent of its budget on locally grown and processed foods, and students may choose among cage-free eggs, hormone-free poultry and dairy products, and grass-fed and confinement-free meats. The school composts 124 tons annually of pre- and postconsumer food scraps and operates a comprehensive recycling program, including electronics.
New construction will meet LEED-certified specifications, and, when economically feasible, the school will strive for higher LEED status. Two campus buildings are Energy Star-labeled, and 96 percent of construction waste is diverted.
The student group EcoPledge organizes a variety of events, including a water taste test to see if students can taste the difference between bottled, tap, and filtered water. RealFood BC advocates for sustainable food in the dining halls and runs an on-campus organic garden. Incoming students receive recycling training and watch a skit about environmental issues, and the Office of Sustainability employs seven student interns.
The college offers a variety of incentives to use alternative transportation, including membership in a car-sharing program, and discounts on carpool parking permits and local transit passes. The campus has bicycle racks, and lockers and showers are available for those who commute by bike.
The college makes a list of all holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development funds. It is exploring, but not currently invested in, on-campus sustainability projects, and its investment managers consider sustainability as part of the asset allocation decision process.
The college provides its investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine its proxy votes. On corporate governance matters, it provides investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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