November 18, 2008

Green Giving Fund Proposal

We are proposing to establish an endowed Green Giving Fund to sponsor projects on Connecticut College’s campus that minimize the college’s environmental footprint.

The College’s Commitment to Sustainability

Environmental Stewardship is one of the six pillars of the College’s Mission Statement. It demonstrates a commitment to remain a leader in protecting the environment and establishing procedures and programs that achieve this goal.

In 2006, President Higdon became a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. This pledge is a commitment to initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality on campus.

This year, Conn devoted $30,000 to hire the consulting firm Woodard & Curran to undertake a comprehensive assessment of environmental practices on campus. Through analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, this baseline assessment will identify opportunities for improvements in sustainability.

The Fund

We are envisioning an endowed fund of at least $100,000, established by a major gift (or gifts). Every year, 5% of this fund will be used to sponsor sustainable projects on campus (for examples, see attached list). Project proposals will be received and vetted by the Environmental Model Committee and allocated to those projects that make the greatest improvements to on campus sustainability.

The fund will be incorporated into all aspects of advancement. This includes, but is not limited to, integration into phone-a-thon and the online giving site, as well as establishing a database of environmentally conscious givers.

The Opportunity

Recently, the College received an overall grade of a ‘C’ on The Green Report Card, published by the Sustainable Endowment Institute.  This report card is a measure of the college’s standing against other schools with respect to its sustainability practices.   Although Conn did well in a number of areas, it did poorly in the area of Investment Priorities. A fund like this will increase our grade in this important measure of the college’s commitment to sustainability against other schools.

There is great potential for Conn to simultaneously reduce its impact on the environment and obtain a new group of donors. We think there will be particular interest in this fund from more recent graduates who may give less to current programs, but would increase giving for an issue that resonates with them.

Connecticut College is a leader in demonstrating environmental stewardship. A green giving fund will provide the college with necessary funds for continuing its commitment to sustainability.

Sincerely,

Pat Wallace & Tyler Dunham

 

Draft Expenditures That Could Utilize Green Giving Fund

Sustainability Currently in the Budget     

·    ZipCars

·    Camel Van (Livery Limited)

·    Earth Tub Maintenance

·    Local/Organic Produce in Dining Halls

·    Compostable Dining Ware

·    Bike Racks

·    Recycling Infrastructure

·    Green Building Commitment

·    Renewable Energy Credits

·    Green Cleaning Products

·    Steel House Renovations

 

New Initiatives

Major Projects

·    Increasing Renewable Energy Infrastructure On Campus

o      Small Wind Instillations

o      Solar Roofs on New Plex and Cummings Art Center

·    Environmental Sustainability Baseline Assessment Recommendations

·    Green Roofs

·    Greywater Systems

·    Updating Heating Systems

·    Bikes

o      For Campus Safety

o      Increasing Funding of Spokespeople

 

Annual

·    Garden Manager Position for Sprout!

·    100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper in the Library

·    CFL Exchange for All Incoming Freshmen