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Report Card 2011

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Macalester College
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Macalester College

School details:

Endowment: $611 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: St Paul, Minnesota


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 -
Sustainability is incorporated into the college's master plan, and a green purchasing policy is currently under review. The Sustainability Advisory Committee implements the institution's sustainability strategic plan, and the Zero Waste Advisory Committee works on initiatives such as the Mac Free Swap program. The sustainability office employs a full-time manager. Departments develop their own sustainability action plans, and all staff receive sustainability training. A revolving loan fund and a green alumni fund sponsor some sustainability projects.
Macalester has committed to reach carbon neutrality by 2025. The college has implemented temperature setbacks and has installed efficiency technologies such as economizers and energy-efficient lighting. The campus features a demonstration solar array and wind turbine, and the college purchases 18.8 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
The college spends 20 percent of its food budget on local products, and sources from an on-campus garden. Dining services purchases exclusively cage-free eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, sustainably harvested seafood, and fair trade coffee. Food scraps from all meals are donated to pig farmers. Overall, the campus diverts 41 percent of waste from traditional disposal.
Macalester's campus includes a Leed-Platinum building. During a recent renovation project, 93 percent of all construction waste was reused or recycled. The campus also features a green roof and porous pavement for stormwater management. Building water metering, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets have been installed for water conservation.
Students can choose to live in the Veggie Co-Op or Eco-House, and the college employs 25 paid student sustainability workers. The MULCH student group tends the on-campus garden and raises awareness about sustainable agriculture, and MacCARES advocates for the use of renewable energy on campus.
Macalester's fleet includes 13 electric maintenance vehicles. The college runs a ride-share board and offers preferential parking to carpools and low-emitting vehicles. Macalester subsidizes public transportation and runs a free shuttle to area schools. Bike-sharing and car-sharing programs are both available on campus.
The college makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, mutual funds, and cash available to trustees and senior administrations at the investment office. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available at the investment office to the school community.
The college aims to optimize investment returns and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds.
The college provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes. The college's Social Responsibility Committee provides input on proxy decisions on some occasions.
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