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Report Card 2009

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $813 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Troy, New York

Enrollment: 6,696

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  
The Student Sustainability Task Force has more than 30 members from the campus community and hosts open forum discussions to plan sustainability initiatives. The institute has a full-time senior program coordinator, in addition to recycling and conservation coordinators, to manage its sustainability and recycling programs. Students have pushed for green purchasing, but the program is still in the planning stages.
The institute has completed an energy audit. Energy-efficient lighting and an aggressive conservation policy has reduced consumption by 3 percent, despite campus growth. Rensselaer has allotted $50,000 of its energy budget to purchase 5 million kilowatt-hours from wind sources. There is a 10-kilowatt wind turbine on campus, and a solar array will be installed atop the new Houston Field House.
Dining services obtains local foods from six producers and organic and fair trade products are served at the Terra Café. Recently, 30 percent of to-go containers were converted to compostable containers. There is standard recycling, as well as pick up for e-waste. Paint and furniture are reused or donated, and waste cooking oil is processed into fuel for campus vehicles.
LEED standards are incorporated into new building projects, and all renovation projects at the institute are designed with energy efficiency measures. The institute plans to achieve LEED Silver certification for the East Village Athletic Center, and the Media and Performing Arts Center is LEED Silver-certified. The institute recycles construction waste.
The institute employs a student green purchasing coordinator. Student groups, including Ecologic, the Sustainability Task Force, and Engineers for a Sustainable World, work to promote recycling and host events like Earth Day. Students may also live in the Energy, Earth, and Biodiversity Living Learning Community.
The institute provides shuttle service on campus and funds public transportation service. RPI Bikeworks promotes bike use on and around campus.
The institute makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public. This information is available only to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community at the investment office.
The institute aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in companies developing alternative energy solutions.
The institute provides its investment managers with guidelines that determine its proxy votes, and hires a third-party proxy service to assist with voting.
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