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Report Card 2009

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George Washington University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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George Washington University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,147 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Washington, District of Columbia

Enrollment: 24,092

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  
C +
President Knapp signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and commissioned a presidential task force on sustainability to make recommendations to enhance academic initiatives and university policies, and to develop local, regional, and national partnerships in the areas of environmental stewardship and climate change.
Lighting, mechanical systems, and windows are being updated for improved energy efficiency. GW is upgrading its energy management system in five major buildings to reduce energy usage. Emails are sent to students before holidays and breaks reminding them to turn off appliances, unplug surge protectors, and close windows.
Cooking oil is collected from food venues for off-site processing into biofuel and animal feed. To engage students in sustainability practices, the university will sponsor a student design competition for the new recycling truck. A student-produced movie on recycling can be viewed on the university's website.
The university has committed to LEED standards for all new construction and currently has two residence hall projects targeted for LEED Silver certification. The university has two, small, green roof projects underway—one on an existing roof terrace and another atop a new campus residence for the university president.
Seven student groups work collaboratively on major sustainability initiatives. In 2008, a yearlong Eco-Challenge competition will take place between all university residence halls for energy and water conservation. CampaignGW is a student-led collaboration with the university administration to raise awareness and participation in campus planning issues.
The university's transportation demand management plan encourages the use of public transit and promotes car and bike sharing. Discounted and priority parking is available to carpool and hybrid vehicles to further alternative transportation choices.
The university makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public. This information is available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles. Investment managers have been surveyed to determine their consideration of environmental, social, and governance factors in the investment decision-making process. Methods are being developed for including these factors during investment manager selection and due-diligence processes.
Most of the endowment is in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles. For separately managed accounts, the university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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