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Report Card 2010

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Bowdoin College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Bowdoin College

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $689 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Brunswick, Maine

Enrollment: 1,719

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  
Bowdoin College’s mission statement, as well as its master plan, includes guiding principles related to operational sustainability and energy use. The Climate Commitment Advisory Committee planned and hosted a “Climate Matters” campus event to educate the community about the college’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality. A full-time coordinator staffs the Sustainable Bowdoin office.
The college recently installed its first solar hot water system. Through a combination of independent contracts, Maine's existing Renewable Portfolio Standard, and renewable energy credits, the college purchases all of its electricity from renewable sources. Bowdoin utilizes geothermal heating and cooling for four buildings on campus, as well as B-20 biofuel heating in three buildings.
In addition to operating an organic vegetable and herb garden, dining services purchases local food from 100 sources. All milk, cream, sour cream, and cottage cheese in the dining halls are hormone-free, and 30 percent of eggs are cage-free. There are at least two vegan entrées available at every meal. Through a tray-optional program, voluntary trayless dining has increased to 30 percent in the past year.
Bowdoin follows LEED guidelines for new construction and has developed its own guidelines for renovations. Two residence halls are LEED Silver-certified, and the Watson ice arena is LEED Certified. Certification for a fourth building is currently pending. Two dormitories have gray water systems that use collected rain water to flush the toilets.
The Green Global Initiatives aims to educate the larger student community about green jobs and a green economy. Another student group recently ran a “Take Back the Tap” campaign, resulting in a cutback of bottled water use in the dining services department and a commitment from the college to add several filling stations across campus. Bowdoin has an EcoReps program and offers office-based sustainability internships.
The Yellow Bike Club offers access to 35 community bikes on campus as well as free maintenance services. The college contracts with a commercial car-sharing program and offers reserved parking spaces to carpoolers. A free shuttle operates throughout campus and in the local area.
The college makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds/comingled funds public.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds.
The college provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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