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Report Card 2010

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Colgate University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Colgate University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $561 million as of May 31, 2009

Location: Hamilton, New York

Enrollment: 2,750

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 -
Colgate employs a sustainability coordinator and has a sustainability council that created a fund to support environmental initiatives. The council also purchased new recycling bins, established a Green Bikes program, secured the hiring of a sustainability coordinator, and campaigned for the dining halls to purchase local food. Colgate purchases Energy Star products, Green Seal-certified cleaning products, and recycled paper.
The university has changed temperature set points to reduce the heating and air conditioning load. The boiler, which produces more than 70 percent of the campus's heat, runs on renewable fuel in the form of wood chips. Colgate is working to complete its carbon emissions inventory.
Colgate's dining halls offer a variety of local and organic food, and all coffee is fair trade. Customers who bring reusable mugs to the retail shop are given a discount on their beverages. After dining halls close down for breaks, perishables are donated to a food pantry. Volunteers collect students' unwanted items at the end of the year and donate them to local nonprofit organizations.
The university has a goal to construct new buildings and major renovations to LEED Silver standards. Low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed in all residence halls, and water-saving technologies are installed in all major construction projects. The university diverts 20 percent of its construction debris from the waste stream.
Student Eco-Teams implement projects to make residence halls, work areas, and events greener. The Campus Ecology Group brings together students, faculty, and staff, and has worked on the Green Bikes program, composting, bottled water reduction, local foods, and hosted an Energy Olympics. Student groups work with the sustainability coordinator on a week-long program, Going Green at Colgate, aimed at first-year students. The student composting initiative works toward large-scale composting in the dining halls. The student government association has a policy coordinator for environmental initiatives.
Colgate is working on a program to fuel buses and the diesel fleet with biofuel made from the dining halls' waste oil. Free shuttle buses bring students around campus and to the downtown area, and a bike-sharing program is available.
The university makes a list of external managers and mutual funds available to the school community at the investment office and sends the information to the public upon request. The university does not make shareholder voting records of its equity commingled funds public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
Colgate does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in commingled funds.
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