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Report Card 2008

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University of Texas
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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University of Texas–Austin

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $13,200 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Austin, Texas


Campus Survey: No

Dining Survey: No

Endowment Survey: Yes


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

Overall grade  
B -
President Powers appointed the Task Force on Sustainability in April 2007, with representation from faculty, staff, and students. The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has adopted an environmental policy statement that sets goals for waste minimization and green purchasing. The Arlington campus is launching the President’s Sustainability Committee, with broad university and community representation, to develop a sustainability strategy. The University of Texas–Austin employs a full-time sustainability coordinator.
UT–Austin has completed 134 distinct energy conservation projects in 44 buildings, including modifications to heating and air conditioning systems, and lighting systems. UT–Arlington has conducted a comprehensive energy audit of campus buildings and committed $17.8 million to energy efficiencies based on this audit. Other major energy conservation measures are on-going. Three photovoltaic systems produce 100,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually at the Health Science Center campus. UTMB installed 240 80-watt solar panels that light the parking garage.
The Austin, Arlington, and Health Science Center campuses have comprehensive recycling programs for office waste. In Austin, 40 percent of paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, and other materials are diverted from landfills annually. In Arlington, 400 tons of such waste is recycled and 27 tons of landscape and food waste are composted. The Sustainable Food Center at UT–Austin is continuing to investigate food purchases that are locally grown or produced.
The Research Office Complex is the first building to be LEED-certified at UT–Austin, and two additional buildings are pursuing certification. UT–Arlington is pursuing LEED certification for its new Engineering Building Complex and other building projects, and its facilities management expects to hire a LEED-accredited staffer.
UT students, faculty, and staff may ride mainline buses free of charge by presenting a valid UT photo ID. The university encourages the use of carpools and vanpools as alternative transportation. UT–Arlington has set up bicycle lanes with the city of Arlington on roads within the campus. The university purchases alternative fuel vehicles as mandated by Texas state law.
Open records law requires that proxy voting records and a list of endowment holdings be available to the public. This information is emailed to individuals upon request.
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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