Report card: Minnesota's greenest campuses

Three standouts, but otherwise some slacking in the green department

The 5th annual College Sustainability Report Card, which bills itself as the only independent evaluation of the sustainability of North American campuses and their investments, has rated a handful of Minnesota colleges and universities for their greenness — as well as how socially responsible they are.

How they stack up, according to results released today:

University of Minnesota: A (one of very few to earn one)

Carleton College: A-

Macalester College: A-

Gustavus Adolphus College: C+

University of St. Thomas: C+

St. Olaf College: C

(Just click on the colleges above to get their individual report cards. To get to the list of Minnesota schools yourself, click on the “Schools” tab at the top of the main page, and then look for the “Filter Results section” on the right of the page. Using the three drag-down menus, choose “State,” “is” and “Minnesota,” and then click “Apply.”)

The survey covers the colleges and universities with the 300 largest endowments in the United States and Canada, as well as 22 additional schools that applied for inclusion. They make up more than 95 percent of all university endowments.

The report card focuses is on policies and practices in nine main categories:

  • Administration
  • Climate Change & Energy
  • Food & Recycling
  • Green Building
  • Student Involvement
  • Transportation
  • Endowment Transparency
  • Investment Priorities (such as investments in clean energy)
  • Shareholder Engagement

You can also see the progress (or lack thereof) that each institution has made each year since 2007, like this:

Right to the top

Question is, how much credibility does this have with the environmentally minded students on campus?

I find it interesting that the U gets straight As, in light of students’ recent attempts to get it to stop using coal.

  • Luke

    Where does SJU fall in this mix?

    • Anonymous

      If you mean St. John’s here in Minnesota, I’m afraid it’s not there. The report card lists schools that had large endowments and which completed the survey — plus a number that asked to be included.