The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has given Whitman College a B grade on its 2011 College Sustainability Report Card. Whitman’s green grade has moved from a C- to a B- to a B over the past three years as a result of ongoing improvements in responsible environmental practices and systems.

“Our improving grade is further evidence of Whitman’s dedication to improving and increasing our sustainable practices,” said Sean Gehrke, associate director, residence life and housing and chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC). “The initiative of students, staff, and faculty is commendable, and we should all be proud of our improving grade on the Report Card.”The annual report card, available at GreenReportCard.org, provides in-depth sustainability profiles for more than 300 colleges in all 50 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces. Whitman was recognized for accomplishments across a number of categories, including a 22 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels, and the installation of energy-saving technologies such as heat recovery systems, lighting sensors and high-efficiency lighting.

Gehrke said that while the college and the SAC continue to pursue more environmentally responsible projects and initiatives, the Green Report Card is a reminder of “all we have done and affirms that we are moving in the right direction.”

SEI annually conducts four surveys designed to gather information about sustainability in campus operations, dining services, endowment investment practices and student activities. Data from these surveys is confirmed and assessed by a team of researchers who give an overall grade to each school.