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Report Card 2008

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Virginia Commonwealth University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth University

School details:

Endowment: $329 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Richmond, Virginia


Campus Survey: No

Dining Survey: No

Endowment Survey: No


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

Overall grade  
C -
Virginia Commonwealth University has signed the Talloires Declaration, committing to act as a world leader in developing, creating, supporting, and maintaining sustainability.
The university has spent more than $7 million over the last five years on performance contracting, a process used to replace inefficient mechanical equipment, retrofit buildings with efficient lighting and automatic water savings devices, and make building envelope efficiency improvements. In 2005, the university instituted an active conservation program to help reduce energy use. The university has underway a study to evaluate adding a wood burning boiler to the steam plant that serves the VCU Medical Center.
For fiscal year 2007, the university exceeded its goal for recycling 25% of all waste. The university’s dining services department buys tofu from a local producer, recycles cardboard at all dining locations, and is in discussions to turn its used grease into biodiesel. Yard waste is recycled as well.
VCU 2020, the university’s Master Site Plan published in 2004, stated, “It is the goal of the university to develop buildings that meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria.” A recently completed building at the Rice Center for Environmental Studies is in the final LEED certification process, one building is under construction, and five buildings are in design, all of which will be LEED certified.
VCU operates inter- and intra-campus shuttles that are free to faculty, staff, and students. Shuttle hours of service have been expanded, and frequency has been increased from every 20-30 minutes to every 10 minutes. The university also partners with the local transit provider to offer discounted passes to students. Use of bicycles by students is also encouraged by including in every major capital project consideration for adding adequate bicycle racks.
Four affiliated but independent foundations receive gifts and invest these funds. Requests for information on equity or bond holdings is handled on a case-by-case basis. In all cases during the past 10 years, information on the holdings have been provided to the requesting person/s. Additionally, as a public institution, VCU would be required under the Freedom of Information Act of the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide copies of any listings of endowment holdings that would be provided to VCU by its affiliated foundations.
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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