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Report Card 2010

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Luther College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of Luther College

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $93 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Decorah, Iowa

Enrollment: 2,385


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


  An application was submitted by Rob Larson to have this school evaluated in the College Sustainability Report Card 2010. A contribution was made to cover the cost of inclusion.   Learn more  about how a school can apply for inclusion.  


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

Overall grade  
A -
President Torgerson is a charter signatory to the Presidents' Climate Commitment. Luther College's sustainability program employs two full-time staff members. The Campus Sustainability Council and was created in 2008 and works on issues surrounding food and waste, energy and water, student learning, and land use.
Luther committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 2003-2004 levels by 2013, and has already achieved a 15.5 percent reduction. Since 2004, the college has performed numerous lighting and HVAC efficiency upgrades. Two buildings on campus are heated and cooled with geothermal systems.
Luther purchases produce and meat from 13 local farms. Dining services offers grass-fed and antibiotic-free beef and pork, as well as fair trade coffee in all locations. All of Luther's dining facilities operate preconsumer compost programs and one-third operate postconsumer programs. The college composts 100 percent of its landscaping waste.
All new campus construction will be built to LEED Silver standards. The newly-constructed Sampson Hoffland Laboratores achieved LEED Gold certification in 2009, and two additional buildings meet LEED certification standards. Over 75 percent of Luther's construction waste is diverted from landfills.
Luther offers paid sustainability internships for students, and the student senate has an environmental representative. The student-led Environmental Concerns Organization plans conservation events, including a competition between Luther and another local college to reduce dorm energy consumption.
Luther's fleet includes eight hybrid, six electric, and one compressed natural gas vehicle. An estimated 90 percent of individuals commute to campus via environmentally preferable transportation. The college created a bike-sharing program in 2008.
Luther makes a list of all holdings and external managers available to all members of the school community including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. This information is available at the investment office or is sent upon request. The college does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds public.
Luther aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The college is exploring, but not currently invested in, community development loan funds and on-campus sustainability projects.
The college does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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