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Report Card 2009

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Princeton University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Princeton University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $15,787 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Enrollment: 6,708

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  
Princeton University's sustainability plan, produced by the sustainability committee, incorporates greenhouse gas reductions and resource conservation. The purchasing department supports buying recycled products, including 100-percent recycled paper. A sustainability manager works with part-time assistants and student interns in the sustainability office.
Students conducted an environmental audit of the university and the school has committed to reducing its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, without the purchase of offsets. Lighting retrofits and a Pull the Plug conservation program help save energy.
Dining services partners with 20 local farms, provides many organic options and fair trade coffee, and recently switched to corn-based biodegradable cups. A comprehensive recycling program has set a goal to recycle 50 percent of waste materials by 2012. Leaves and tree trimmings are composted and food waste is sent to a pig farmer.
Princeton's sustainable building guidelines require all projects to be designed to LEED Silver standards. New construction and major renovations must use 50 percent less energy than required by energy code. Many sustainable projects are underway, including a residential college with green roofs and a new chemistry building with rainwater collection.
Opportunities for students to become involved with sustainability include internships in the sustainability office, as well as with many student organizations. An Eco-Reps program is being expanded to every residence hall and a pilot energy-use competition between residential colleges will begin this year.
Abandoned bikes are repaired and loaned to students as part of the U-Bikes program, and the campus plan aims to extend pedestrian and bike paths. Princeton owns several hybrid and electric vehicles, and offers incentives for using public transportation and carpooling. A new director of transportation and parking works to reduce the carbon footprint associated with commuting.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. This information is available at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
Commingled accounts comprise the vast majority of marketable assets. A Princeton University Investment Company administrator reviews proxy votes for the accounts that are not commingled
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