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Report Card 2010

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $291 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 4,561

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 +
The President’s Task Force on Sustainability and a part-time sustainability coordinator promote and organize sustainability efforts. WPI purchases EPEAT-registered electronics, Energy Star appliances, and some organic pesticides, as well as environmentally preferable cleaning and paper products. Task force members maintain a website that promotes WPI’s sustainability initiatives.
A new campus energy management system has been installed to monitor temperature setbacks based on scheduled occupancy of individual rooms. Occupancy sensors control heating and lighting in many locations around campus. Energy and water conserving systems were installed in the new East Hall, as well as a more efficient heating system. The institute recently completed its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
WPI contracts with a vendor that spends 27 percent of the food budget on local items, including dairy. Dining services purchases exclusively cage-free eggs and hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. All seafood is chosen in accordance with sustainability guidelines, and all coffee served on campus is fair trade. There are composting programs in some dining locations, and the institute estimates that a trayless initiative has resulted in a savings of 120,000 gallons of water this year. WPI recycles all aluminum, cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and electronic waste.
All new buildings are designed to achieve LEED certification. One building on campus is LEED-certified, and the newest residence hall has achieved LEED Gold certification. New construction projects have a waste diversion rate of 93 percent.
Students are involved in sustainability issues through a number of campus groups. Various sustainability-themed living communities are located on each floor of the new LEED Gold residence hall. The President's Task Force on Sustainability employs a student intern. Students ran RecycleMania in the spring and a national teach-In seminar in February 2009. Students researched and proposed a carpooling program, which was accepted by the administration for implementation in the 2009-2010 academic year.
The institute provides a shuttle service to on- and off-campus destinations. A commercial car-sharing program exists on campus, and premium parking spaces are allocated to carpool groups and users of hybrid and alternative-energy vehicles.
The institute makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the campus community in the investment office. The institute does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds public.
The institute aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The institute does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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