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Report Card 2009

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Dalhousie University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Dalhousie University

School details:

Endowment: $364 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Enrollment: 15,440

Type: Public


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  
C +
Dalhousie University has signed three sustainability-related international declarations, including the Talloires Declaration. The sustainability office is led by a full-time director and aided by the President's Advisory Council on Sustainability. The university plans to formalize a draft sustainability policy by the end of the year and is working to incorporate sustainability concepts into all procedures. A new sustainability-themed master plan is currently under development.
The university has performed lighting retrofits in several campus buildings and has installed motion sensors. An energy management and metering system is under development, and further energy efficiency projects are currently being planned, including major building energy upgrades and an energy conservation campaign. The residence council has also run a "Lights Out" Campaign.
Last year, the university bought 30 percent of its food products locally, sourcing from about 30 local suppliers, including a dairy. The dining halls are trayless to conserve water, heating energy, and food waste, and all to-go containers are biodegradable. Recycling and composting programs are available at all locations on campus.
Dalhousie is a member of the Canada Green Building Council. The university's most recent construction project was designed to meet LEED Silver standards and will pursue LEED certification for two planned projects. Dalhousie is also planning to incorporate sustainability features into an upcoming renovation.
There are part-time positions available at the university's sustainability office for students, including five summer internships. Students recently voted in favor of a $2 fee per student, per year to support a student sustainability office and staff. Currently the office maintains three part-time employees. There are a number of student groups that address campus sustainability issues, including SustainDal.
The university makes a shuttle bus available to the campus community and runs a carpool program that offers reserved parking to participants. The Dal U-Pass is offered as a special pass for students to use on public transit. The Society for Bicycle Advocacy at Dalhousie is investigating the creation of a bicycle sharing program.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to the public by request, as per open records laws. Shareholder voting records are available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds at present.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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