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Report Card 2009

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University of Pittsburgh
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Pittsburgh

School details:

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Endowment: $2,254 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Enrollment: 26,731

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  
The University of Pittsburgh is a signatory of the Talloires Declaration. Life-cycle assessments, recycling, and energy use are considered in product purchases. The Sustainability Subcommittee works with facilities and many other staff members to promote the university’s environmental initiatives.
The university is commissioning a new natural gas-fired steam plant, which will reduce steam-related greenhouse gas emissions by 47 percent. Renewable sources account for 6.2 percent of the university’s electricity. A comprehensive building automation system controls building temperatures and operating schedules in most university buildings. Conservation initiatives also include standardized compact fluorescent bulbs, occupancy sensors, and energy recovery.
Dining services managers participate in sustainability training and have developed a committee to focus on future initiatives. Local seasonal produce, dairy products, and baked goods are purchased, as well as fair trade coffee and some organic produce. A comprehensive recycling program diverts more than 39 percent of the university's waste.
The university has incorporated sustainable standards for new construction and renovation projects into its professional design manual. In 2005, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine achieved LEED Gold certification. LEED certification is being pursued for several projects currently in design or under construction. The university’s first green roof has been designed and will be constructed in 2009.
The University of Pittsburgh has a student environmental organization, Free the Planet, an environmental committee within the student government, and a chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World. Students are represented on the Sustainability Subcommittee of the University Senate Plant Utilization and Planning Committee.
The university has negotiated a contract with the Port Authority to allow students, faculty, and staff to access public transportation simply by showing their Pitt ID. Efforts have been made to conserve fuel while improving the service of the campus shuttle system, which is comprised of 23 biodiesel vehicles. Carpool participants receive reduced fees for parking permits, and there is a computerized ride-matching program.
The university has no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record.
The university aims to optimize investment return and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university has not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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