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Report Card 2011

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Dickinson College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Dickinson College

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $321 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania

 

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
Dickinson's sustainability plan covers campus operations, financial management, and student life. The President's Commission on Environmental Sustainability, one of three sustainability committees, recently approved a climate action plan. The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education integrates campus sustainability with academic programs. Eco-friendly cleaning products, Energy Star appliances, and EPEAT-certified electronics are purchased regularly.
Dickinson has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2030. The campus features a biodiesel plant, and central energy boilers were recently converted to burn waste vegetable oil. The college installed a swimming pool filtration system that captures evaporated water for reuse, and some buildings feature economizers and energy management systems.
Dickinson spends 50 percent of its food budget on local items, including hormone-free dairy products, as well as vegetables and herbs from the campus farm. Organic, bird-friendly, fair trade coffee is sold in all dining retail locations. Dining halls are trayless and compost pre- and postconsumer food scraps at all meals. There are compost receptacles in academic buildings and residence halls.
The college aims for a minimum of LEED Silver certification on all new construction projects. Three campus buildings are LEED Gold certified, and there are also two new LEED renovation projects. Buildings are metered for water use, and residence halls feature energy-efficient washers and dryers and low-flow showerheads.
Students may live in a sustainability-themed residence hall, and all freshmen learn about sustainability during orientation. Dickinson offers 40 paid sustainability internships during the academic year, and 20 volunteer eco-reps promote environmental initiatives in residence halls. Student groups, such as Students Interested in Sustainable Agriculture and EarthNow, work on a variety of environmental initiatives.
Dickinson offers free bikes for use on campus, partners with a car-sharing program, and provides a weekly shuttle to Harrisburg. Nearly all students and 14 percent of staff commute to campus via environmentally preferable means.
The college's investments are pooled in commingled funds; all possible information is made available to the public on the school's website. A list of proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is also available to the public online.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in on-campus sustainability projects, community development loan funds, and renewable energy funds. The college has $4.2 million of its investments specifically targeted for long-term social, environmental, and economic value.
The proxy subcommittee of the Socially Responsible Investment Discussion Group, which includes administrators, alumni, faculty, and students, deliberates and makes recommendations on proxy votes to the board.
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