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Green Report Judges Us All

October 20, 2008, sitting in a green tower miraculously higher than our ivory one, released a comprehensive evaluation of college sustainability over the weekend. How does Yale do? Did we defeat our great rival on the green fields of enviornmental awareness? I’ll give you a hint – no.

Overall, Yale did pretty well, garnering a B+. We got an A in food and recycling (why food isn’t it’s own category is beyond me), thanks to the heroic efforts of organizations like Yale Recycling and the YSFP. We did fairly well in other categories too, with A’s in administration green building, investment priorites and shareholder engament, and Bs in climate change and transportation. Our big loss? A huge F in investment transparency.

What confuses me is how we were able to get an A in investment priorities and an F in investment transparency – how do we know our priorities our in order? Maybe we’re still investing in private prisons, or maybe Monsansto, ConAgra, and Shao Kahn.

Harvard, meanwhile, beat us with a towering C in investment transparency. Why is it that the richest universities in the country are so secretive about where there money is? That’s a dumb question. Instead of thinking about what horrors are bankrolled with bricks from Woolsey, maybe it would be best to look ahead. Yale has announced their commitment to alternative energy investment, so maybe they could start to up that transparency score by releasing monthly reports about green enterprises they’re invested in, and what they’re doing to help the environment and fight Shao Kahn.

The sustainable food in the dining halls, is after all, an education program married with an investment in local food systems, so why not start throwing even more of Yale’s considerable endowment that way? If Yale is committed to sustainable food and environmental responsibility, there is no reason to conisder “investment” to be a somehow separate category. With the current financial climate, enterprises based off responsible soil management may be some of the only reliable bets out there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 20, 2008 4:01 pm

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

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