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Bentley Makes Solid Progress on College Sustainability Report Card 2011
In the recently released College Sustainability Report Card 2011, an independent evaluation of sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Cambridge-based nonprofit organization, Bentley scored B+.
"We are extremely pleased with our ranking this year and the fact that we improved a whole letter grade in one year," says Bentley Manager of Sustainability Amanda Navarroli King. "Our higher ranking is certainly a testament of the Office of Sustainability's hard work which would not be possible without the assistance of Facilities Management and many dedicated students. It is also attributable to a more robust and effective single-stream recycling program, a clear and well defined Climate Action Plan and continued improvements in the energy efficiency of our buildings through upgrades and retrofits completed by the Facilities Management team."
Based on fiscal year 2010 data, more than 300 participating institutions in the U.S. and Canada were rated in nine categories, ranging from climate change and energy to green building to investment priorities. High-scoring categories for Bentley included:
- Administration: The Sustainability Task Force and its chair, the manager of sustainability, work to set sustainability goals for the university. Faculty and staff also have the option to participate in an eco-reps program. Bentley purchases Energy Star appliances whenever possible, and all cleaning products used on campus are Green Seal certified.
- Climate Change & Energy: The university completes annual greenhouse gas emissions inventories and has committed to carbon neutrality by 2030, partially through the use of offsets. Energy efficiency efforts have included energy management system upgrades, electricity submetering, and the installation of LED and other energy-efficient lighting
- Student Involvement: The Stratton Green Living House, which has been renovated with green materials and Energy Star appliances, opened in fall 2010 and houses students committed to a sustainable lifestyle. A sustainability workshop was included in orientation for incoming students and as part of the first-year seminar. Bentley offers three student internships to work on campus sustainability matters, and 30 eco-reps raise environmental awareness among their peers.
- InvestmentPriorities: The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in on-campus projects and community development loan funds. Bentley is exploring investment in renewable energy funds.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.