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Report Card 2009

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Seattle University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Seattle University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $216 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Seattle, Washington

Enrollment: 6,810

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  
B +
President Sundborg signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The purchasing department encourages the use of green products. A campus sustainability manager has been hired, and a student initiative led to the creation of the Environmental Advisory Council to advise environmental policies for the university.
Seattle has installed energy-efficient lighting and occupancy sensors and has implemented energy conservation projects, including night setbacks. The university buys 15 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources and has installed solar panels on the student center's roof and south wall.
Dining services sources locally from 20 farms and a dairy. Thirty percent of produce is organic and local. Seattle has an extensive recycling program, including the reuse of furniture and office equipment. The composting facility turns kitchen food waste and tree trimmings into compost. Cooking oil is donated to a farmer for biodiesel.
Seattle has incorporated green building techniques into its facilities master plan, which include favoring renovation over demolition and designing projects to meet LEED Gold standards. The new student center is LEED-certified for its use of locally manufactured and recycled products. Two renovated homes for student housing were built according to Built Green standards.
New students attend a Welcome Week barbeque that uses biodegradable plates and utensils and recycles other containers. There are job opportunities working for the grounds and recycling department, and on special projects with the sustainability manager. Four environmental engineering and activism student groups raise environmental awareness and complete sustainability projects on campus.
Seattle has biodiesel mowers and backhoes, in addition to 14 electric vehicles in its fleet. The university offers subsidized transportation passes, van and car-share programs, preferential spots and lower fees for carpooling, and emergency taxi rides home for carpoolers.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to all members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. 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.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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