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Report Card 2008

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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C-
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

School details:

Endowment: $813 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Troy, New York

 

Campus Survey: No

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  
C -
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute employs a senior program administrator of recycling and solid waste, as well as a student conservation coordinator, when funds are available. The Department of Ecological Economics, Values, and Policy encourages students to develop greening initiatives to be implemented on campus, and several such student projects have been the impetus for the institute’s sustainability programs.
A solar array provides power to 25 computers and a 10-kilowatt wind turbine was installed in 2003. The institute has upgraded many of the lighting systems on campus. Vending misers have been installed and several energy-savings programs have been conducted by conservation coordinators. However, the institute has not formally committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions nor has it made any renewable energy purchases.
Fair-trade coffee and organic produce, pasta, yogurt, and other items are served in dining halls. The institute purchases from six local producers, spending $75,000 locally per year. Milk comes from a local cooperative, and cooking oil from the dining halls is recycled for use as biodiesel. The institute recently introduced corn-and sugar-based compostable to-go containers on campus, accounting for 30 percent of such products.
The biotechnology building is LEED-certified and the Electronic Media Performing Arts Center is striving to attain LEED Silver certification. The institute consistently reuses and recycles items from construction. For example, renovations of the Folsom Library generated three tons of lighting fixtures that have been reused, and surplus furniture is reused on campus or donated to schools and nonprofits.
The Bikeworks program promotes bicycle use around campus.
Information about endowment holdings and proxy voting records are available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The institute aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles. The institute also uses investment managers that consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The institute uses proxy-voting services provided by Institutional Shareholder Services.
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