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Report Card 2008

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University of Washington
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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University of Washington

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $2,100 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Seattle, Washington


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  
A -
President Emmert signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and has created an Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee (ESAC), an environmental stewardship coordinator position, and has formalized a policy on environmental stewardship to give full institutional support to the cause of campus sustainability. The ESAC subcommittees focus on energy, a green building policy, and green purchasing.
The university is a founding member of the original Seattle Climate Partnership. All of the Seattle campus electrical purchases are 100 percent renewable. The university has implemented energy conservation projects, which are saving more than 43 million kilowatt-hours per year, and continues to implement more complex projects through reinvestment of energy cost savings.
Dining services spends several million dollars annually on locally produced, organic, and natural foods. The department works toward a zero-waste goal, composting postconsumer food waste and offering compostable dishware and to-go packaging. The university’s recycling rate is 44 percent.
In compliance with the state of Washington’s High Performance Building legislation, the university declared that all state-funded new building and major renovations would be LEED Silver-certified at a minimum. The university has achieved one LEED-certified, two LEED Silver-rated projects, and one LEED Gold-CS Pilot Certification, totaling over 450,000 square feet.
In addition to encouraging the campus community to use alternative transportation, UW maintains a fleet of over 300 alternative fuel, hybrid, electric, and biodiesel-powered vehicles and trucks. The university also offers U-CAR, a car-sharing program that makes vehicles throughout campus available for hourly, short-term rentals.
Endowment holdings and proxy voting records are available to faculty, staff, students, and the general public upon request as per open records law. The investment office typically meets with parties interested in the investment program to provide additional context and research support.
The university is currently invested in renewable energy funds and energy-conscious real estate funds. The investment policies follow a set of ethical considerations, which state that due consideration shall be given to the degree of corporate responsibility exercised by the companies in which investments are made.
The university delegates proxy voting to its investment managers with the proviso in its ethical guidelines that due consideration be given to corporate responsibility. Shareholder engagement also includes letter-writing campaigns and sponsorship of shareholder resolutions.
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