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Pomona College Recognized as a Leader in College Sustainability

Pomona College has increased its use of drought-resistant plants in landscaping.

Pomona College has increased its use of drought-resistant plants in landscaping.

The student-run Pomona College Green Bikes Program offers some free bikes to students, as well as maintenance and repair services, to encourage bike usage at the Claremont Colleges.

The student-run Pomona College Green Bikes Program offers some free bikes to students, as well as maintenance and repair services, to encourage bike usage at the Claremont Colleges.

Pomona College has been named one of the nation’s leaders in campus sustainability by the Sustainable Endowments Institute in its 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, released today.

Pomona College was one of only seven schools, from a pool of more than 300 colleges and universities, that received the highest cumulative “grade” of A across several categories. The others were Brown University, Dickinson College, Oberlin College, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yale University.

The Institute focuses on practices and polices in administration, climate change & energy, food & recycling, green building, transportation, student involvement, endowment transparency, investment priorities and shareholder engagement. Information is collected through extensive surveys assessing school performance across 52 indicators.

This year Pomona received an A in every category with the exception of Endowment Transparency, which received a B.  In the 2010 Report Card, Pomona received an A in every category except Climate Change & Energy (B) and Endowment Transparency (C) to receive that year’s highest grade of A-, which was awarded to only 28 schools.

Among the highlights cited by the Institute in the 2011 Report Card are:

  • Pomona’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2007 levels by the end of 2020;
  • Pomona’s building standards, which require all new construction projects to target LEED Gold certification;
  • installation of high-efficiency lighting and low-flow faucets in all campus buildings;
  • Dining Services purchases from local growers and processors, and policies to purchase only hormone and antibiotic free milk, and seafood that meets sustainability guidelines;
  • student involvement opportunities in sustainability-related internships, on campus committees and in environmentally-focused student groups, including Food Rescue;
  • the Green Bikes program and incentive programs for ride-sharing; and
  • the President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and its grants to support student-run projects.

“This is terrific recognition of the range and depth of the sustainability programs and policies at Pomona College,” said Pomona President David Oxtoby. “Throughout the campus – among students, faculty, staff and trustees – there is strong commitment to making Pomona a leader of sustainable practices, and we are always looking for creative ways to be better stewards of our natural resources.”

“Students have played a tremendous role in the creation and the success of our various sustainability programs and projects,” said Bowen Close, director of Pomona’s Sustainability Integration Office.

“External recognition such as the Green Report Card is an added benefit to everything we're doing. Surveys such as this one help us expand our reach as we exchange ideas and share successes with other leading colleges and universities,” Close added.

The goal of the Sustainable Endowments Institute is to provide accessible information so that schools may learn from each other’s experiences, thereby fostering more effective sustainability policies, according Mark Orlanski, founder and director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

To view the full 2011 Sustainability Report Card, visit www.greenreportcard.org.