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Report Card 2009

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Brown University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Brown University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $2,781 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Enrollment: 8,004

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research and survey responses from schools. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methodology  section.

Overall grade  
A -
Brown is committed to minimizing energy use, reducing negative environmental impacts, and promoting environmental stewardship. The Energy and Environment Advisory Committee guides the school's environmental choices. The university employs two full-time sustainability professionals.
Brown is committed to reducing emissions to 15 percent below 1990 levels for existing buildings by 2020. Over $20 million is earmarked for energy efficiency upgrades to campus systems and facilities over the next several years. The Community Carbon Use Reduction at Brown program was formed to help reduce the carbon footprint of the surrounding community and funds various student and faculty carbon-reduction projects.
The Community Harvest program is the centerpiece of Brown's commitment to local food. In addition to a seasonal farmers market, dining halls feature many products purchased from 20 local farms and an on-campus garden. Weekly Harvest Crews help harvest food from local farms for campus use. Brown has a comprehensive recycling program.
All new construction must meet LEED Silver specifications, at a minimum, and limit energy consumption to 25 to 50 percent below state code. In addition, Brown will reduce greenhouse gas emissions for all newly acquired facilities by 15 to 30 percent. The university has five buildings currently seeking LEED certification.
Brown has several environmental student groups, including chapters of Engineers Without Borders and the Campus Climate Challenge. The Sustainable Food Initiative maintains a community garden and works with dining services' Community Harvest program. The university has a strong Eco-Rep program and employs student interns to work in the energy and environment department.
Several departments utilize hybrid and biodiesel- or natural-gas-fueled vehicles. Newly purchased vehicles must be in the top 25 percent of EPA fuel economy standards and SUV purchases are restricted. Students, faculty, and staff are provided with a free statewide transit pass.
The university makes its proxy voting record available to all members of the university community on a password-protected website. Information on endowment holdings is not made available.
The university is not currently invested in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds. The Social Choice Donor Option allows individuals to direct endowment donations of $25,000 or more to a mutual fund of companies that are environmentally responsible and pursuing sustainability.
The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies makes voting recommendations for social and environmental issues on proxies. Brown’s investment managers vote all other proxy issues.
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