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Report Card 2008

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Brandeis University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Brandeis University

School details:

Endowment: $691 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Waltham, Massachusetts


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
President Reinharz has signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. Brandeis is working to develop a comprehensive, university-wide statement on its commitment to environmentally responsible operations and employs a full-time energy manager whose role is to oversee improvements in efficiency and the reduction of overall energy use. The Brandeis Environmental Sustainability Team consists of faculty, staff, and students.
The university’s Infrastructure Renewal Project includes two $10 million phases, both focused on improving the school’s environmental footprint, and another focused specifically on energy improvements. The Energy Savings Program offers information on current resource use and sponsors an energy usage competition, as well as a compact fluorescent lightbulb exchange. Brandeis is currently planning the installation of a test tower on campus—pending approval by the city—to explore the feasibility of wind power as a renewable source for a portion of the university’s energy needs.
In October 2006, along with a student-organized awareness campaign, dining services began offering select amounts of locally grown produce in dining locations. Most ice cream, and bread not baked in the on-campus bakery, is purchased from regional producers. As a result of a student research project, dining services started composting kitchen waste in the spring of 2007, with 405 tons of waste projected to be composted per year. All dining locations offer fair-trade coffee, some exclusively. Compostable or biodegradable to-go containers are purchased from a local paper company.
The new Irving Schneider and Family Building reflects several green building features, including the use of recycled steel, bamboo flooring, low-VOC paints, and green label carpets. Though the university does not set LEED certification as a goal for its projects, it does set LEED-like goals for all capital projects. One assistant project manager in the Office of Capital Projects is LEED accredited; two project managers and one assistant project manager are currently seeking LEED accreditation.
A shuttle circulates around campus and to destinations in Waltham and Boston. Employees are encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation and to carpool. The campus is located on a commuter rail line and mass transit passes are tax deductible.
The university makes neither its proxy voting record nor its list of endowment holdings public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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