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Report Card 2009

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Tufts University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Tufts University

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $1,452 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 9,690

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  
Tufts University has committed to reducing direct emissions consistent with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol and the New England Governors’ and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ climate change goals. The environmental policy established in 1990 remains a guiding principle for the university. The sustainability office is staffed by two sustainability professionals.
Tufts is committed to reducing direct emissions and has created an energy loan fund to pay the upfront costs for efficiency projects. The cost is repaid in the form of energy savings. Efficiency measures include energy management systems and HVAC and lighting upgrades. The sustainability office tracks progress and educates the campus community. Students have the option to purchase wind power for their dorm room for $15 per semester.
Sustainable food purchases include local, hormone-free milk, cage-free eggs from Maine, grass-fed beef, and numerous organic items. A pilot program in one dining location will add the cost of the disposable cup to the price of hot beverages. Elsewhere, students can receive a discount for bringing their own mug.
Tufts seeks to maximize energy and water efficiency in building design. Third-party engineers are employed to ensure that design and construction methods result in energy efficient buildings. The Sophia Gordon Hall has received LEED Gold certification.
Students work on campus-based research projects and all members of the Tufts community can serve as Eco-Ambassadors to encourage individuals and departments to reduce their environmental impact. Student groups include the Environmental Consciousness Outreach and the Energy Security Initiative. Students organize an annual Do-It-In-the-Dark dorm energy competition.
The university's vehicle fleet uses alternative fuels and includes an electric tractor, five electric vehicles, and a hybrid. Tufts has partnered with a car-sharing program through which hybrid vehicles are available to rent at reduced rates. Tufts provides shuttle service to public transit and ride-matching for carpoolers.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The university makes its proxy voting record available to members of the university community on a password-protected website.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development loan funds.
In the select cases that Tufts is able to vote on proxies, a subcommittee of the board of trustees deliberates and makes recommendations on proxy votes. Each academic year, the student senate appoints a student committee to review and provide recommendations to the board as to how proxies should be voted.
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