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Report Card 2009

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University of Calgary
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Calgary

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $437 million as of March 31, 2007

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Enrollment: 24,141

Type: Public


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.


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Overall grade  
B +
The University of Calgary is a signatory of the Talloires Declaration, and the board of governors approved 14 core recommendations that set strategic direction for campus sustainability. The sustainability office includes three full-time staff members, and manages the Sustainability Stewardship Working Group, which consists of 13 teams working on different sustainability initiatives.
Calgary wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. With the completion of retrofits to the central heating plant in 2011, the university will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 43 percent below 1990 levels. The Child Development Center uses 100 percent renewable electricity, 10 percent of which comes from a photovoltaic array on the building. The Energy Performance Initiative has lead to efficiency upgrades to various campus systems.
The university's food service provider purchases from 19 local farms and producers, spending approximately 10 percent of its budget on local foods. Their supplier also contracts with two local dairies, and fair trade coffee is available. A discount is offered for bringing reusable cups. A pilot food composting program is underway.
The university mandates that all new projects achieve the highest level of LEED certification within budget constraints. The Child Development Center is LEED Platinum-certified and two buildings under construction are on track to achieve LEED Gold and Silver certifications. All buildings are required to achieve the LEED Canada Durable Building credit.
The sustainability office offers positions to students as full-time project coordinators and part-time sustainability coordinators. A residence hall Eco-Rep program begins fall 2008. The Graduate Student Association, the Student Union, various environmental clubs, and the Sustainability Stewardship Working Group work together through the Student Forum on campus sustainability efforts.
The university encourages use of alternative forms of transportation with discounted student transit passes, premium parking for carpooling, and participation in a car-sharing program. A student-run program provides a venue for cyclists to repair bikes and socialize, and will begin loaning bikes in late 2008.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available upon request to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community.
The university is exploring investment in renewable energy funds. There is discussion of investing in a firm that provides socially responsible investing services and a socially responsible index.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as over 99 percent of the endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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