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Report Card 2009

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Yale University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Yale University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $22,530 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Enrollment: 11,441

Type: Private


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 +
Yale University recently signed the G8 University Summit Sapporo Sustainability Declaration. The Office of Sustainability, which works to implement sustainable practices at Yale and engage the campus community, employs four full-time staff and will hire two more in fiscal year 2009. Yale has multiple advisory councils dedicated to sustainability.
Yale committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020 and has succeeded in reducing emissions by 11 percent in two years. Student reductions in energy use are rewarded with the purchase of renewable energy certificates for residential halls. A 250 kilowatt high-efficiency fuel cell supplies more than 25 percent of the Environmental Science Center's electricity needs.
Dining services spends 22 percent of its total budget on locally grown and organic food items and collaborates with Yale Sustainable Food Project to purchase products when available. Dining services uses recyclable or biodegradable take-out containers and recently began a food waste composting program. The university has a comprehensive desk-side recycling program and e-waste collection.
The university has established design standards that incorporate principles in line with LEED Silver certification. New construction projects with a budget of more than $4 million are required to earn a LEED Silver rating. Yale currently has one each of LEED Silver, Gold, and Platinum certifications, and the school is considering using LEED design and certification for 13 buildings.
Numerous student groups address sustainability at Yale. Students are employed by the Office of Sustainability, the Yale Sustainable Food Project, and the recycling department. The Student Task Force for Environmental Partnership employs more than 25 students to act as sustainability educators and coordinators in the residential system.
Yale employs a director of transportation options, offers a free shuttle service, and brought a commercial car-sharing program to campus in 2007. The campus vehicle fleet includes seven hybrid and five electric vehicles. Yale offers several incentives to carpool and vanpool, and recently launched a pilot departmental bike program.
The university makes basic investment information available in Yale’s annual report. The shareholder voting record is not made public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested through its manager in renewable energy projects.
A committee composed of two students, two alumni, two faculty, and two staff forms recommendations about and implements proxy voting in matters involving “substantial social injury,” which includes consideration of environmental practices.
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