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Report Card 2010

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Middlebury College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Middlebury College

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $691 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Middlebury, Vermont

Enrollment: 2,500

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  
A -
Middlebury's environmental and sustainability policy commits the college to sustainability in all operations and activities. The Sustainability Integration Office employs three full-time staff, and a broad-based task force is planning a campus sustainability summit. Middlebury purchases only 100 percent postconsumer recycled and chlorine-free paper.
Middlebury has developed an implementation plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. The college has invested in solar arrays, solar thermal heating, and a demonstration wind turbine. A new cogeneration plant fueled by woodchips has significantly reduced carbon emissions. Middlebury purchases "cow power," or farm manure digestion electricity, for two buildings.
The college has a policy specifying its support for local and organic foods. The Middlebury Organic Garden provides seasonal produce for menus in the fall and summer. Middlebury has an overall waste diversion rate of 62 percent, including both compost and standard recycling. Dining services donates waste vegetable oil to the athletics department to fuel one of the ski team vehicles.
Middlebury has had its own internal green building policy since 1999, but recently adopted LEED Silver certification standards for all new construction and major renovations. The Franklin Environmental Center is LEED Platinum-certified, and six new buildings meet LEED criteria.
New-student orientation includes a campus sustainability tour and provides resources to learn how to live sustainably at the college. Middlebury's student government has an environmental affairs committee. The student-led Sunday Night Group has organized a campaign to green Middlebury's endowment investments. The Weybridge Environmental House is a sustainability-themed residence.
Beginning in fall 2009, students will be charged a fee of $50 to register their car on campus. This fee will be used to support sustainability initiatives on campus. Middlebury provides free transit bus passes to students and employees, supports a student-run bike shop, and partners with a car-sharing service.
Middlebury makes a list of endowment holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The college also makes a quarterly endowment summary available on its website.
The college aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. Middlebury is exploring the possibility of establishing an environmental choice fund that would invest donors' contributions according to sustainability guidelines.
The Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing consists of five students, one faculty member, one alumni representative, and one administrator. This group makes recommendations to the proxy subcommittee of the board of trustees on votes involving social and environmental issues.
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