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Report Card 2009

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Virginia Commonwealth University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $329 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Richmond, Virginia

Enrollment: 28,303

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 Trani signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and the National Compact of Commitment to Environmental Stewardship. VCU hired a director of sustainability and created a sustainability committee to address the Presidents Climate Commitment and other sustainability opportunities.
VCU’s first carbon emissions inventory was completed in May 2007, and the university has taken several steps to improve energy efficiency, including installing more than 250 room occupancy sensors by the end of 2008. Solar panels have been installed for the Rice Center project.
All postconsumer waste generated from the main dining facility will be composted beginning in fall 2008. As a public university, Virginia Commonwealth is required to recycle at least 25 percent of its waste. The university's dining services purchases some local items, including dairy, produce, and tofu, and now has a partnership to refine fryer oil for biodiesel fuel.
VCU has committed to design all new construction and major renovations over 5,000 square feet to meet LEED Silver specifications, and has developed its own facility design standards. The university has five building projects that are registered for LEED Silver certification and several projects in planning or design phases that will register with LEED. VCU has committed to ensure all roof replacements are green roofs.
New student orientation now includes information on sustainability. The signing of the National Compact of Commitment to Environmental Stewardship was, in part, due to a request from VCU's student government. The VCU Green Team is a student group committed to greening the university. Student life held an energy reduction competition between residence halls during spring 2008.
VCU operates a free shuttle service and recently partnered with the local transit provider to begin offering free passes to students. The grounds department recently began using two electric trucks for pickup of trash and recycling, adding to other alternative-fuel vehicles used on campus. The university implements campus planning measures that encourage walking and biking.
The university makes information on endowment holdings and proxy voting records available primarily to the school community, but also to the public, and is sent upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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