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Report Card 2009

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University of Colorado
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Colorado

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $717 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Enrollment: 32,362

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.

Overall grade  
A -
Chancellor Peterson signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The university employs nine full-time and numerous part-time staff devoted to sustainability efforts in the Environmental Center and Facilities Management. The Chancellor's Committee on Energy, Environment and Sustainability, as well as the Environmental Board, advise the administration on environmental policy. A section of the school's sustainability plan is devoted to green purchasing.
The university is aiming for a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption from 2005–2006 levels by the 2011–2012 academic year. Among multiple conservation campaigns, the Buff Energy Star program is a comprehensive competition among all campus buildings and building proctors to save energy and reduce waste. The university is currently working on a 1.5 megawatt solar array. Since 2000, about 10 percent of campus electricity consumption has been offset by wind energy credits and, recently, from local offsets.
All incoming residents are given a reusable shopping bag for use in Grab-n-Go and retail dining locations, and an EcoMug program offers discounts to students. The university buys from five to eight local producers, including a ground beef supplier and a dairy. A variety of natural, organic, and local options are available.
The university’s campus design standards mandate that all new buildings and major renovations meet LEED Gold standards. There are currently four LEED-certified buildings on campus and three new buildings are LEED Gold-certified.
The Environmental Center employs more than 60 students. Eco-Leaders serve in each residence hall and the Green Teams program educates off-campus students. There are numerous sustainability-related student organizations, and a residence hall competition encourages students to conserve energy.
Since 1991, the university community has ridden for free on local/regional public transportation. The use of alternative transportation is encouraged through a car-sharing program, a ride board, a carpool network, and a bike rental program.
The University of Colorado Foundation makes a list of endowment holdings and shareholder voting records available to the public, as per open records laws. Shareholder voting records are available at the investment office, and endowment holdings are accessible online.
The University of Colorado Foundation aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The foundation is also invested with managers that consider environment/sustainability factors as a primary component of their investment practices.
The University of Colorado Foundation asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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