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Report Card 2010

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Grinnell College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Grinnell College

School details:

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Endowment: $1,076 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Grinnell, Iowa

Enrollment: 1,636

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  
Grinnell College is committed to incorporating environmental responsibility into institutional practices and campus culture. The Campus Advisory Committee on Environmental Concerns (EcoCampus), consisting of faculty, staff, and students, promotes sustainability and performs environmental audits.
Grinnell aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below anticipated 2010 levels. A 4-megawatt wind turbine project is underway and, when completed, will provide approximately 50 percent of campus electricity. In 2007, a 50-kilowatt wind turbine was installed at the Conard Environmental Research Area.
Dining services sources exclusively cage-free eggs and hormone- and antibiotic-free milk and butter. Local food items are also purchased. Fifty-three percent of recyclable and compostable campus waste is diverted from the landfill. At the end of the school year, the college collects reusable items from students and donates them to local thrift stores or sells them during orientation.
The design features of all new buildings must conform to LEED standards. The East Campus dorms and the Joe Rosenfield Center are LEED-certified, and the Environmental Education Center at the Conard Environmental Research Area received a LEED Gold rating. Dorms have direct digital temperature controls that shut off heating or cooling when they sense open windows.
The college has a green session during new-student orientation and has designated a college-owned house to become an eco-friendly living community. The student government has created the Student Environmental Committee to address environmental concerns. Free the Planet is a student organization focused on environmental issues.
Grinnell's public bicycle program provides free bicycles for student use. The campus fleet includes three hybrid vehicles and one electric truck.
The college makes a list of all endowment holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. A list of external managers is made available to the public online. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available to all members of the school community at the investment office.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in both renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. Grinnell's investment policy features a social responsibility provision that includes environmental and sustainability factors. In addition, the college continues to work with managers who directly invest in companies focused on improved environmental outcomes.
The college asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting. However, during the 2008-2009 academic year, Students for Responsible Investment, consisting of ten students, made a recommendation for one proxy vote relating to discrimination issues, which the board of trustees subsequently approved and saw to completion.
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