Carleton College, MN "Green Carleton"

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Carleton College, MN, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

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Carleton College is a place where we push the boundaries of intellectual engagement, curiosity, and possibility. But we are not just a place of ideas, we are a living community that puts these ideas into practice.

As we once restored our local landscape to its natural prarie state in our 800 acres of Arboretum, and as we took the leap to be the first college to own a commerical sized wind turbine, we continue to pursue sustainable initiatives with our intellectual resources, however daunting they may seem.

Carbon Neutrality is our next great task at hand.

Sustainability Report
This page will include sustainability accomplishments and Goals

Sustainability Assistants
Sustainability assistants at Carleton will improve and invent new communication pathways between staff, faculty, students, and specific organizations of the College by researching, understanding, and educating other of the relevant sustainability intersections of Carleton’s economic structure, community culture, and ecological environment.

Food is one of the most common ways that we connect to our environment. We eat daily, but rarely take into consideration the source of our food or the effect of its growth and transportation on ourselves and our environment.

The Carleton community aims to be deliberate about our food choices. We strive to pay close attention to what we eat, where it comes from, how it was produced, how far it has traveled to reach us, and where it ultimately ends up.

The management of Carleton's endowment is important to Carleton's sustainability because the college financially supports those companies in which it chooses to invest. In addition, as a shareholder in those companies, Carleton has the ability to vote on issues that may pertain to the social responsibility and sustainability of the companies. Making decisions about where to invest and how to vote is no easy task when one considers how many different ways there are to define what qualifies as sustainable or socially responsible investment. These considerations are further complicated by the fact that the ultimate goal of the Investment Committee (appointed by the Borad of Trustees to manage the school endowment) is maximize returns.

Carleton will work to improve the sustainability, biodiversity and conservation of the college landscape to benefit the wider community. The college will also restore native landscapes in the grounds and arboretum, improve water and chemical usage and be community friendly.

The "Purchasing Initiative" is the process of committing Carleton to incorporating "Green" practices into the infrastructural investments and projects throughout campus.

Explores Carleton's contributions to transportation-related environmental issues and discusses proposals that offer practical, cost-efficient solutions.

“…Carleton recognizes the limited carrying capacity of the earth and therefore strives to limit our ecological impact …Carleton ensures that both resource inputs and outputs are minimized, that inputs are produced locally, sustainably and equitably, and that outputs are recycled or composted if possible, non-polluting, and do not disproportionately burden already disadvantaged sectors of society.”

The principle also highlights the importance of “optimizing the full life cycle of products and processes.” In reducing and managing waste here at Carleton, we have focused in three areas: waste reduction, recycling and chemical use.

Purchased electricity currently accounts for about 55% of Carleton’s greenhouse gas emissions, and heating is responsible for about 35%. In order for Carleton to reduce its carbon footprint, the college will have to conserve energy, increase efficiency, and purchase electricity from less intensive sources.

Sustainability Revolving Fund
Carleton is committed to advancing sustainability and eliminating its contribution to global warming by becoming carbon neutral, as outlined in the Environmental Statement of Principles, the Carbon Neutrality Value Statement and the President’s Climate Commitment. In this vein, the Sustainability Revolving Fund (SRF) strives to transition Carleton to a sustainable, climate benign future by funding projects that provide financial returns while reducing the College’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through heightened awareness and empowerment, the SRF will nurture an environmentally conscious student body and community, transitioning the College to a benign, just and sustainable future.