W&M improves rating on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card

  • Good reportThe College of William & Mary received a "B+" overall on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, improving on last year's "B" and continuing the upward trajectory in sustainability efforts and achievements by the College.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Good report

The College of William & Mary received a “B+” overall on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, improving on last year’s “B” and continuing the upward trajectory in sustainability efforts and achievements by the College.

The results were released to the public on Oct. 25 by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI).  Of the 11 Virginia schools that participated in the survey, only two had an equal or higher overall ranking than William & Mary; Virginia Commonwealth University received an “A-” and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University also received a “B+.”

“This speaks to the dedication and effectiveness of our Sustainability Committee,” said President Taylor Reveley. “It also reflects the force of the Green Fee.  William & Mary is showing how much can be done for sustainability with very modest financial resources if you have great people.”

The College Sustainability Report Card grades institutions of higher education in nine principle areas:  Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Food & Recycling, Green Building, Student Involvement, Transportation, Endowment Transparency, Investment Priorities, and Shareholder Engagement.  According to SEI’s web site, the College Sustainability Report Card “seeks to encourage sustainability as a priority in college operations and endowment investment practices by offering independent yearly assessments of progress.”  The 2011 Report Card included 322 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

William & Mary has made dramatic improvements in sustainability since 2008, when it received a grade of “D-” on the College Sustainability Report Card. On the 2011 Report Card, William & Mary received an “A” in the areas of Administration, Food & Recycling, Student Involvement and Investment Priorities. William & Mary also was recognized for the preliminary Climate Action Plan developed by the President’s Committee on Sustainability, for hiring sustainability fellows, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent since 2002, composting in the dining halls, having four LEED-certified buildings on campus, garnering student involvement in the Eco-Village project, and creating a car-sharing program, among many other achievements.

William & Mary’s 2011 College Sustainability Report Card grade of a “B+” reflects the continuing commitment of the president, administrators, faculty, staff and especially students to increasing and improving sustainability on campus.

“This is the result of an extraordinary, sustained effort on behalf of the entire W&M community,” said Dennis Taylor, COS co-chair and emeritus professor of marine science. “We are now in our second and third generation of volunteers in this work, attesting to the long term vitality of the W&M volunteer spirit that underpins our sustainability goals.”

A new campus-wide recycling program was implemented this year, and work on the eco-village, an ambitious sustainability project involving the renovation of the College’s eight campus lodges into an environmentally friendly research and living community, continues to progress thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of students, faculty and staff members and generous private support for the planning stages.

 “We are very excited about the significant progress being made on the sustainability front and anticipate even further gains as some of our plans and projects become reality,” said Lynda Butler, COS co-chair and chancellor professor of law.

For more on William & Mary’s sustainability initiatives, visit http://www.wm.edu/sustainability.

For more on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, visit http://www.greenreportcard.org/.  For William & Mary’s complete 2011 Report Card, visit, http://www.greenreportcard.org/report-card-2011/schools/college-of-william-mary.