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The Leed Platinum-certified Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest.

'Sustainability Report Card' gives Middlebury high marks

October 8, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury College is one of 26 institutions in the United States and Canada to be selected as an "Overall College Sustainability Leader" in the 2010 edition of the College Sustainability Report Card.

Now in its fourth year, the College Sustainability Report Card seeks to evaluate the sustainability of campus operations and endowment investments. Published by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Sustainable Endowments Institute, the report card examines the practices of 300 public and private colleges and universities in North America that generally have the largest endowments. The schools profiled have combined holdings representing more than $325 billion in endowment assets, or more than 95 percent of all university endowments. 

Middlebury's report card shows that the college performed well enough in all categories to merit the highest overall grade of "A-." It mentions a number of environmental initiatives specifically, including the college's carbon neutrality goal, the biomass plant, and the LEED Platinum certified Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest.

The report card includes grades for each institution in nine categories: administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, student involvement, transportation, endowment transparency, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement.

Eighty schools, including Middlebury, achieved "Campus Sustainability Leader" status by scoring high marks in all six campus categories or those categories unrelated to finances.

The College Sustainability Report Card is part of the nonprofit Sustainable Endowments Institute, which is 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 and receives funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Kendall Foundation, Surdna Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, among others.