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Report Card 2011

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California Institute of Technology
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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California Institute of Technology

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,527 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Pasadena, California


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
A -
The California Institute of Technology has a revolving loan fund that draws money from the endowment to fund energy efficiency projects. The Sustainability Council has implemented a new campus-wide recycling and composting system, a rebate system for fuel-efficient vehicles, and a campus sustainability guide, among other initiatives. The custodial department purchases exclusively recycled paper products and green cleaning products.
Caltech aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. The institute has a cogeneration plant and has installed energy-saving technologies, including heat recovery systems, steam line insulation, and steam turbines across campus. Real-time campus energy use is displayed on a website, and departments are given incentives for conserving energy.
Dining services sources from 25 local growers and processors, and citrus fruits, artichokes, olives, and herbs are grown on campus. All coffee served on campus is fair trade, and compost from dining hall food scraps is used in the community garden. To reduce the purchase of new items, there is a household equipment and baby furniture swap once a week on campus.
The institute has a goal of building to LEED Gold standards for all new construction and major renovations and to retrocommission all main buildings on campus by 2015. There are three LEED Gold-certified buildings on campus. To reduce water use, the institute has installed low-flow fixtures, adjusts irrigation based on the weather, and uses landscaping features that require less water.
Student groups work on sustainability initiatives, including maintaining a community garden, increasing campus solar production, converting waste oil to biodiesel, and building electric vehicles. New students attend a presentation on sustainability during orientation and are given a guide to sustainable living on campus. Two students work as sustainability interns.
Carpools receive parking discounts, and vans of five or more people are offered additional financial incentives. A 30 percent discount on public transit is also provided to campus community members. Nearly 60 percent of employees commute to campus via environmentally preferable means. More than half of campus vehicles are 100 percent electric.
The institute makes a list of most holdings available to trustees and senior administrators. Only asset allocation information is available to the public on the school website. The institute does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual/commingled funds public.
The institute aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds and on-campus energy efficiency projects. The institute also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors. Donors may request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
The institute is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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