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Report Card 2009

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Northeastern University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Northeastern University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $680 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 22,932

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  
President Aoun signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. In 2005, the university instituted an energy conservation action plan to be carried out by the facilities department. Northeastern's energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requires the purchase of Energy Star-certified products. A sustainability committee was formed in 2006, and multiple staff members work on sustainability initiatives on campus. Several new administrative positions include a sustainability manager and an associate director of sustainability and energy management.
The university has begun a carbon emissions inventory and has taken steps to increase energy efficiency through lighting replacements, equipping rooms with occupancy sensors, purchasing Energy Star appliances, installing control management systems, and many other upgrades.
The university's food provider serves fair trade coffee, cage-free eggs, local produce, sustainably harvested fish, and antibiotic-free pork. All pre- and postconsumer food waste is composted. The diversion rate of all campus recycling efforts, including solid waste and construction, totals 63.5 percent.
The university has adopted a policy of LEED certification for all new buildings and major renovations. The Parcel 18 dormitory and the Dockser Hall Law School expansion are projected to be ranked at least LEED Silver upon completion. In existing buildings, all renovations include a full environmental impact assessment.
The facilities department and the student group Huskies Energy Action Team are cooperatively producing a sustainable living guide to be distributed to freshmen throughout the year. In the 2007–2008 school year, the university held the Town Meeting on Sustainability to engage all student environmental groups on campus.
Northeastern has purchased 22 electric vehicles for its campus fleet. The university works with a car-sharing company on campus for student and faculty use. All new dormitory buildings are located within a quarter mile of buses, subways, and commuter rail stations.
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 currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university's investment managers consider environmental sustainability among many other factors when making investments for the university.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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