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Report Card 2011

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Colgate University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Colgate University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $615 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Hamilton, New York


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: No


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  
Sustainability committees at Colgate University have worked to draft a climate action plan, establish a community garden, and create a ride-share program, among other initiatives. Staff are encouraged to conserve resources by the Green Office Program. The university purchases exclusively Green Seal cleaning supplies and Energy Star computers, and most office paper is made from recycled content. Alumni can donate to a fund for sustainability projects on campus.
Colgate installed a campus-wide energy management system, which has facilitated temperature setbacks and monitors chilled water, steam, and electricity for all buildings. All washers and dryers on campus have been replaced with energy-efficient models, and the school is also upgrading lighting to be more energy efficient. Local biomass is used for 75 percent of campus heating, and 84 percent of purchased electricity comes from hydropower.
Dining services purchases local and organic food, as well as vegetables from the student-run garden. Exclusively fair trade coffee is served on campus. Discounts are offered for using reusable mugs, and bottled water has been removed from dining facilities. All Greek houses compost. Unwanted items during move-out are donated, and there is a program to swap usable office supplies.
All new buildings and major renovations are constructed to LEED Silver standards, and one LEED building is under construction. Colgate has reduced per capita water use by 48 percent since 2005, and has installed efficient laundry machines in all buildings, as well as low-flow fixtures and water metering in 60 percent of buildings. The campus features porous pavement to manage stormwater.
New students are introduced to sustainability at a zero-waste meal and by their resident assistants at orientation, and they may also participate in the week-long Colgate Green Living Program. Student groups purchase carbon offsets, work on reducing water bottle use and improving recycling, and run Earth Day events and a meal with local and organic food.
To encourage carpooling, the university provides ride-matching and preferable parking to faculty, staff, and students. The university runs a free shuttle around campus and to off-campus housing and shopping areas. A bike-sharing program makes 20 bikes available for rental to the campus community.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, and makes information about asset allocation, mutual funds, and cash holdings available at the investment office to the general public. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring endowment investment in renewable energy funds.
The university is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in commingled funds.
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