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Site evaluates colleges on sustainability

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A new interactive website from the Sustainable Endowments Institute aims to keep tabs on the sustainability of U.S. colleges and their endowments.

The Institute, a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is basing the website on the College Sustainability Report Card 2009. GreenReportCard.org will provide profiles of more than 300 schools, as well as grades for sustainability efforts in nine areas.

The participating schools hold combined endowments of almost $400 billion, ranging in individual size from about $150 million to $35 billion.

No schools in the latest survey received an A, but 15 schools, including Brown, Harvard and Middlebury, received an A-.

The 2009 report card found three major trends among participating colleges and universities:

  • The share of schools investing some of their endowment assets in renewable-energy funds increased to 46 percent from 19 percent.
  • Endowment transparency is on the rise, with 37 percent of schools making a list of investment available to the campus or public, up from 23 percent last year.
  • 18 percent of colleges have shareholder committees that focus on sustainable-endowment issues, up from 13 percent.

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