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A wind turbine built by students Jeff Bennett '10 (left) and Albert Wright '10 was one of the projects that helped Willamette earn high marks on a national college sustainability report card.A wind turbine built by students Jeff Bennett '10 (left) and Albert Wright '10 was one of the projects that helped Willamette earn high marks on a national college sustainability report card.

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Willamette University earns high marks on College Sustainability Report Card

Willamette University earned As in the majority of the categories on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, a national report identifying colleges and universities that are leaders in sustainability.

Willamette's overall grade of B+ was an improvement from last year and tied or exceeded all Oregon universities that were scored.

The university scored an A in seven of the nine categories: administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, student involvement, transportation, and investment priorities.

Willamette also has been recognized as first in the nation for sustainability activities by the National Wildlife Federation, and is one of Sierra magazine's top "Cool Schools" for a commitment to the environment.

The SEI report card is an independent evaluation of the campus operations and endowment investments at the 300 public and private colleges and universities with the largest endowments.

The initiatives that helped Willamette earn high marks include:

  • Having three committees overseeing campus sustainability initiatives, including the Center for Sustainable Communities.
  • Implementing energy-saving measures such as high-efficiency lighting, temperature setbacks, solar panels and a wind turbine.
  • Spending 43 percent of the food budget on local and organic items, and composting pre-consumer food waste.
  • Having two LEED Gold and one LEED Silver certified buildings, and requiring all new construction projects to meet at least LEED Silver standards.
  • Running a student-managed farm and compost program at Zena Forest.

Read Willamette's entire report card on the SEI website.

10-27-2010