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Dartmouth earns a B+ in fourth-annual Green Report Card from the Sustainable Endowments Institute

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 10/21/09 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

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Learn more about Sustainability at Dartmouth

Dartmouth slipped from an A- to a B+ in the annual Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Green Report Card, an annual evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

“Our ratings in the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s report card improved in two important categories, Administration and Climate Change/Energy, where we had focused new efforts and projects,” says Kathy Lambert, Dartmouth’s sustainability manager. “But our grade dropped in several other categories where the rating standards were higher this year, so our overall score was lower.”

The highest grade level earned in the College Sustainability Report Card 2010 was A-, earned by 26 schools. Dartmouth is one of 37 institutions to receive a B+. Overall performance was assessed in nine categories: Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Food & Recycling, Green Building, Transportation, Student Involvement, Endowment Transparency, Shareholder Engagement and Investment Priorities.

In the Administration category, Dartmouth’s grade improved from a C to a B “due to our efforts over the past year to develop indicators and goals that will embed sustainability into campus wide operations and to our success in earning over half a million dollars in grant funding to support an expanded internship and fellowship program,” says Lambert.

Dartmouth’s improved Energy and Climate Change grade went from a B to an A, and Lambert credited Dartmouth’s commitment to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels without the use of offsets and its comprehensive energy efficiency and metering programs initiated by Steve Shadford, Dartmouth’s energy engineer, and others in the Facilities Operations and Management team. Those efforts are supported by $12.5 million in debt authorized by the Trustees, which will be repaid through energy savings.

Dartmouth’s grades in the Endowment Transparency, Investment Priorities, and Green Buildings categories fell from an A to a B. “We have not changed our endowment and investment strategies or the degree of transparency. We continue to offer the Dartmouth community full access to all of our public equity investments,” says Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Adam Keller.

Adds Lambert, “While it is disappointing that these changes resulted in a lower overall score for Dartmouth, raising the bar and setting more stringent standards is important to becoming more sustainable as an organization and as a society as a whole. We will be working to consider how we can use the results of the report card to expand and build on the notable strengths of our existing sustainability efforts in the year ahead.”

More than 300 colleges and universities participated in the report card exercise, and grading was based on publicly available information and surveys of appropriate school officials, culminating in the assessment in the nine categories. Three other schools in the Ivy league also saw lower scores this year, two remained unchanged, and only one (Yale) received a higher grade from the previous year. An overview of Dartmouth’s Green Report Card performance over the past two years:

Category

Dartmouth 2009 Grades (issued in September 2008)

Dartmouth 2010 Grade (issued in October 2009)

Administration

C

B

Climate Change and Energy

B

A

Food & Recycling

A

A

Green Buildings

A

B

Student Involvement

A

A

Endowment Transparency

A

B

Investment Priorities

A

B

Shareholder Engagement

A

A

Founded in 2005, the not-for-profit Sustainability Endowments Institute is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors dedicated to research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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Last Updated: 1/5/10