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Report Card 2008

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Southern Methodist University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Southern Methodist University

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $1,300 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Dallas, Texas


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: No


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

Overall grade  
C -
An energy programmer is responsible for optimizing the energy management system, and the Energy Management Team was formed to lower energy use and cost. The university is considering a permanent environmental committee made up of students, faculty, staff, and local community members, as well as signing the Presidents Climate Commitment.
Efforts of the Energy Management Team have included managing the HVAC system to be energy efficient, installing vending misers on all campus soda machines, and supplying 3 percent of the campus electrical usage from wind power. The team has also posted a long list of suggestions for individual energy stewardship online. The university has not made public any administrative commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions on campus.
Dining services purchases local produce from a regional supplier in season and an in-house herb garden is used by the catering, deli, and retail locations. A local dairy produces over half of the dairy products served. The university has also adopted a single-stream recycling plan that currently diverts 67 percent of waste from the landfill.
The university recently completed the J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building, designed and built to the LEED Gold standard. SMU dining services recycled 5,140 pounds of stainless steel and aluminum during this year’s renovation of the dining facility. All structures are built to be energy efficient, which has saved 33 percent more energy than code requires.
A carpool program offers free parking for carpool participants and plug-in electric hybrid vehicle assigned parking offers free electricity to the vehicle owner. SMU has entered into an agreement with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit that provides convenient bus service within the university and the surrounding area. SMU community members can ride public transportation for free after purchasing a $5 transit pass.
The university’s U.S. equity allocations are in separate accounts. The investment managers vote the proxies and report their votes to trustees, senior administrators, and members of the Investment Committee. A list of endowment holdings is available only to trustees, senior administrators, and Investment Committee members.
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. However, some of the university’s private equity funds have portfolio companies that are involved in renewable energy activities.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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