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Report Card 2009

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University of Utah
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

  Compare with another school

B
University of Utah

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $610 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Enrollment: 28,933

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  
B
President Young signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The new sustainability office was made permanent in July 2008 with a substantial increase in budget and growth in staff. An energy manager, energy conservation and behavior consultant, and energy intern also contribute to its efforts.
A new cogeneration plant produces about 11 percent of the university's electricity. The energy management office is retrocommissioning HVAC systems, upgrading lighting systems, and deploying behavior modification programs to improve energy efficiency. Students and donors contribute to a fund that offsets about 15 percent of the university’s electricity by purchasing from wind-generated sources.
Dining services purchases produce and dairy from local providers. A new farmers market on campus will increase community access to local produce. Food trays are being phased out to reduce food waste and water consumption.
The university follows Utah State Building Energy Efficiency Program standards. The Health Sciences Education building is LEED-certified and new buildings will seek LEED ratings. The nearly complete Marriott Library remodel includes a rooftop garden and a substantial daylighting upgrade.
Student representatives in the residence halls work to raise awareness about sustainability. The sustainability office facilitates collaboration between students and facilities management staff in classroom projects that have included building design and mechanical systems design. Student groups include Sustainable Environments and Ecological Design, as well as a student government board of sustainability.
The university owns nine hybrid vehicles and provides free universal transit passes to all students, faculty, and staff. Transit ridership is expected to increase from 33 to 40 percent in fall 2008. The campus shuttle system operates buses on biodiesel and waste vegetable oil. A student-directed bike collective promotes cycling on campus and will open a new campus bike repair facility.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to the public by request, as per open records laws.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles. The University Social Choice Pool, a TIAA-CREF-managed social/environmental investment, incorporates environmental/sustainability factors; donors may choose the option of directing endowed gifts into this pool.
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The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in pooled investment vehicles, including mutual funds.
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