In the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card released this month, Hobart and William Smith Colleges received an A rating in the individually evaluated areas of ‘administration,’ ‘climate change and energy,’ ‘student involvement’ and ‘investment priorities.’ Additional areas of ‘food and recycling’ and ‘transportation’ each earned a B grade.
The “College Sustainability Report Card” is an initiative of the Sustainable Endowments Institute and is the only independent evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
“The report card speaks to the success and tremendous effort that we’ve put behind sustainability,” says Jamie Landi, sustainability coordinator for the Colleges. “We will use their evaluation of our performance as we continually look to advance our sustainability efforts.”
President Mark D. Gearan signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, making HWS a charter member of an effort to reduce emissions of gases responsible for global warming.
According to the Sustainable Endowments Institute, “The Report Card is designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example on sustainability. The aim is to provide accessible information for schools to learn from each other’s experiences and establish more effective sustainability policies.”
In the area of administration, the detailed report card notes: “Hobart and William Smith Colleges have made a formal commitment to mitigate environmental impacts, achieve climate neutrality, and develop a culture of environmental sustainability in the campus community.”
The Institute also pointed out that alternative energy technologies provide the energy used for the Finger Lakes Institute. On campus overall, the Institute credited the Colleges for their use of wind energy, student completion of a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and replacement of 90 percent of the campus’ lighting fixtures with energy-efficient units.
In the area of student involvement, HWS earned marks for the sustainability picnic held during orientation, the Greens House theme residence, the work of the Campus Greens student group, and paid sustainability internships.
The Sustainable Endowments Institute is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. Founded in 2005, the Institute is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.