PCC Committee Notes
November 11, 2010
Present: Hansen, Jamison, Kagan-Moore, MacNabb, Miles, Stanley, Stephens, Werner
Guest: Wayne Anderson, Associated Colleges of the South
Elizabeth introduced Wayne Anderson, President of Associated Colleges of the South. Dr.
Anderson was on campus meeting with faculty and administrators.
Brett reminded us of the convocations in the near future, Wendell Berry Nov 15 and Randy
Wilson Nov 16. Preston reported (1) negotiations with Lock 7 HydroPartners concerning direct
purchase of REC’s. Contract is “in negotiation” and Dec start date is expected; (2) arrangements
have been made to install two water bottle filling stations on campus, supported by a private
donor, timeline uncertain.
In October we discussed the possibility of incorporating information on sustainability efforts into
the tour that prospective students are given. Paige Mathews was happy to make this addition,
and provided a copy of the current script. Laura Hansen volunteered to write some new material
and work with Ms. Mathews to train the student tour guides.
In discussion of the Centre GROWS, Elizabeth mentioned that federal work-study funds can be
used for this activity if some of the produce is shared with community. Federal work study funds
can be used to give students a job working on Centre GROWS *with $0 matching by Centre
College*, as long it becomes a community-wide project. Centre could make the garden community-
wide by doing things like allowing members of the community to have small plots in the garden,
providing K12 students—via our education majors-- with tours of the garden, designating a
certain percentage of the produce to foodbanks, etc. This could be a great way for Centre to
add more student work study jobs to the college without any cost whatsoever to Centre.
Our major discussion concerned the recently released Green Report Card, published by
Sustainable Endowments Institute. Elizabeth shared a table comparing the “grades” received by
the 12 ACS institutions (attached). Preston prepared information about the other rating/ranking
systems in which Centre has been included (attached). One positive effect of the Green Report
Card has been in raising awareness among institution Presidents, stimulating some to place
greater emphasis on these activities. Especially noteworthy is Furman’s ranking among the 52
national leaders ranked by SEI.
Brett reported that he has been contacted by Tess Simon, a Cento reporter, asking for his
assessment of the Green Report Card. Her interest was stimulated by an email to the Cento from
SEI. Ms. Simon’s questions included Centre’s ranking in transportation category.
Our group felt that, of the nine areas considered by SEI, the section on transportation was most
disappointing. The “D” evaluation in this area seems unfair since on our small, residential
campus that bus passes and bike loan programs are really not needed. For a number of reasons,
Centre is not likely to make the changes in Shareholder Engagement or Endowment
Transparency that would lead to improved scores.
Some institutions have chosen not to respond in categories which they felt did not apply to their
institution. Centre might make that decision also. This past year, a number of institutions, some
quite well respected in this field, chose not to participate in SEI survey, and co-signed a letter of
concern. Our committee did not make a recommendation about future participation in SEI.
Caroline challenged us with a useful perspective. How do we self-assess? Relative to
benchmark institutions --- probably around a “B”. How do we self-assess? Relative to the
potential and opportunities we see for Centre – maybe somewhere in the “C” range.
Steve reminded us of the steps we must make to meet our goal of zero net GHG emissions by
2040. He reported on progress made by the small group (Jamison, Noltemeyer, Messer & Miles)
to develop a recommendation setting out resources necessary for a concrete operational plan.
The recommendation recognizes that doing things a little bit better will not achieve our goals. A
bold new strategy is necessary. Steve expects to bring a memo to the next meeting for review and
approval. Judy reminded us of the dilemma of preparing a budget without reliable information
on the costs of projects.
President Anderson raised the important question, “What is the biggest challenge that Centre
faces?” This triggered useful discussion - - - the biggest financial challenge, the biggest
education challenge, the biggest operational challenge, etc.
Ratings and Rankings and Other Annoying Business
Sierra Club Cools Schools Survey
2010 --- #135 of 162
Energy supply (2.2), Efficiency (8.0), Food (3.0), Academics (3.0), Purchasing (4.0),
Transport (6.0), Waste (4.0), Administration (8.0), Investments (0), Other (9.0). Total
Score = 47.2
2009 ---#124 of 135
Efficiency (6), Energy (1), Food(2), Academics(4), Purchasing (6), Transport(3), Waste
(4), Administration (5), Bonus (9), Total Score = 31, Final Grade = D-
2009 -- Centre-81, Berea-89, Transy-60, Furman-97, Sewanee-88, Rhodes-82, UK-60, Kenyon77
2010 – Centre included in new publication, “Guide to 286 Green Colleges”
Sustainable Endowments Institute, “College Sustainability Report Card”
2009 2010 2011
Overall C C B-
Administration B A A
Climate Change & C C B
Food & Recycling B C B
Green Building B A A
Student Involvement B C B
Transportation C D D
Endowment F C C
Investment Priorities C C A*
Shareholder F F D
Not included in 2008 survey.
Ratings/Rankings In Which We Are Not Included
Peterson’s Survey of Sustainability Efforts in Higher Education
I’m sure we filled this one out, but I can’t find it!
Kiwi magazine, “Green College Report”
Grist magazine, “Fifteen Green Colleges and Unversitites”
National Wildlife Federation, “National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability in