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Report Card 2008

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Tulane University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Tulane University

School details:

Endowment: $1,000 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana


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  
Tulane has an Office of Environmental Affairs that employs an environmental coordinator with a student staff of seven. As curbside recycling has not returned since Hurricane Katrina, Tulane service-learning students produced a guide to area businesses and nonprofits that accept recycled materials. The guide was distributed to every New Orleans household by the Department of Sanitation. Additionally, the university has reopened an Energy Star Showcase Dorm Room, which teaches students about energy efficiency as they begin college.
The university has performed a campus environmental audit and a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, as well as several lighting retrofits. A cogeneration plant offers a more efficient alternative to the standard boiler plant. An energy management company is currently implementing numerous facility improvement measures on campus that will reduce annual campus greenhouse gas emissions by a projected 8,000 tons. However, no formal commitment to emissions reductions has been made.
Food services has partnered with Earthbound Organics to provide organic produce, salads, and snacks. The university annually spends $15,000 locally, purchasing from one local farm and a local dairy. The composting program has been temporarily suspended due to Hurricane Katrina, but a great effort has been made to keep recycling strong on campus.
The newly opened Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life has innovative natural ventilation and daylighting features, and preserved the original concrete and steel skeleton to reduce waste. A student-designed building for Tulane’s A Studio in the Woods, an artist’s retreat, is participating in the pilot LEED for Homes Program with a target of Platinum certification. In addition, many students, staff, and faculty are engaged in projects that promote sustainable building, design, and neighborhood planning in the city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
With the absence of many public transit options due to Hurricane Katrina, Tulane has coordinated grocery shopping and entertainment shuttles and a new student-oriented car rental program. Bike Tulane provides strong community support for the use of bicycles. The university is currently undertaking a major project to improve pedestrian access on McAlister Place, the campus’s central corridor.
The university has no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record.
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 has not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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