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Report Card 2009

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St. John's University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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St. John's University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $367 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Queens, New York

Enrollment: 19,813

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 +
St. John's Sustainability Initiative (STJSI) works with administration, staff, faculty, and students to provide the knowledge, skills, and motivation needed to address sustainability in the construction of new facilities, the operation of existing facilities, and working/learning activities. Within the framework of STJSI are seven established programs; the program for climate change is driven by the PlaNYC mayoral challenge for "30 in 10"—a challenge made by Mayor Bloomberg in 2007 to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by 2017.
In 2007, greenhouse gas inventory data was submitted to PlaNYC. The university is developing a strategy for funding major energy efficiency projects that would include a cogeneration plant and a high-efficiency chilled water plant. Since January 2008, Sullivan Hall has become the model building for automation systems, showing upwards of 22 percent energy reduction.
The university purchases produce from local farms when available, and serves cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free chicken and pork. A beverage discount is given for bringing a reusable mug. At one café, only fair-trade and organic coffee is available. St. John’s has a comprehensive recycling program that also includes ink cartridges, light bulbs, batteries, and electronics.
St. John’s incorporates many green building features from the suite of LEED standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Several projects utilize environmentally conscious materials, including the use of coal combustion products in concrete, dormitory furniture from farmed lumber, and reused metal ceiling tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles, and carpet tiles.
The residential life office provides information to all incoming students on recycling and water and energy conservation. The university employs seven student sustainability coordinators to perform various outreach and education tasks such as recycling inspections, surveys, and event staffing.
New York City public transportation is highly utilized by students, faculty, and staff. The university also contracts with a local charter bus service that uses only ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to offer free rides to and from public transit hubs and between campuses. Ten hybrid vehicles are used by the public safety department.
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. Its shareholder voting record is not made public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
Most of the school's endowment is in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles. For other investments, the university asks its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting. In addition, two small endowment funds are managed by students who make proxy voting decisions as part of an investment fund class.
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