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Report Card 2009

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University of Massachusetts–Amherst
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Massachusetts–Amherst

School details:

Endowment: $350 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 24,646

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: No


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 +
President Wilson signed the Presidents Climate Commitment on behalf of the UMass System, including the Amherst campus. The university maintains a green initiatives website and, in 2008, the Environmental Performance Advisory Committee (EPAC) was formed, consisting of administrators, staff, and students. This committee oversees campus sustainability initiatives.
The physical plant department is currently implementing $43 million in energy efficiency projects across campus, including chillers, water conservation, and metering for tracking purposes. This year, a wide-ranging conservation campaign will address behavioral aspects of utility consumption and carbon emissions.
The university purchases 20 percent of its produce locally and plans to increase this figure to 25 percent by 2010. In 2008, 475 tons of food waste were composted, and dining services maintained a 95 percent waste diversion rate. The university has a comprehensive recycling program that consistently maintains diversion rates of above 50 percent. There are recycling bins in every office, lab, classroom, cafeteria, and dorm room in the campus's 194 buildings.
The university has a green building design policy—with a goal of Massachusetts LEED Plus or the Green Building Council's LEED Silver certification—for all new buildings over 20,000 square feet. A campus police station, currently in the design phase, aims to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Students for Environmental Awareness and Action act as ECO-Reps on residential environmental education initiatives. Sustainability information is included in new student orientation.
The Amherst campus has five hybrid vehicles and runs a wide-ranging program of fare-free buses and commuter initiatives. Buses, run jointly by UMass Amherst, the municipality, and several area schools, serve approximately 16,000 riders per day. Carpool incentives include parking discounts, preferential parking spaces for alternative-fuel vehicles, and a bike commute information database.
The university and the UMass Foundation have no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or shareholder voting records.
The university and the UMass Foundation aim to optimize investment return and have not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university and the UMass Foundation have not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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