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Report Card 2009

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York University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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York University

School details:

Endowment: $296 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Enrollment: 50,000

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  
C +
President Shoukri is launching a new sustainability council that will have broad representation, including students and senior staff. The council will report to the president and provide input on ways to better address issues of sustainability on campus. In addition, the university employs at least four full-time staff to address sustainability on campus.
In 2006, York began an energy management program aimed to reduce energy consumption 25 percent over five years. The initiative includes a wide variety of energy and water efficiency measures. The university has undertaken several energy management programs in the past decade, including the installation and expansion of a building automation system, installation of two cogeneration units, and lighting upgrades.
The university diverts 52 percent of its waste by recycling, including food and yard waste. Food service providers purchase fair trade coffee, as well as organic and locally grown produce and beef. By September 2008, catering services on two campuses will use strictly biodegradable to-go containers. The Maloca Community Garden provides space for the community to grow their own food.
Pond Road Residence and the Computer Science and Engineering Building feature green roofs. New buildings and renovations incorporate several green building strategies, including green-sourced materials, efficient airflow systems, and storm water retention.
Yorkwise is an awareness campaign for sustainability issues on campus. York's Institute of Research and Innovation on Sustainability, a committee aimed at devising approaches to the contemporary challenges of sustainability, has employed several students. The university launched a new initiative to offset the carbon emissions resulting from production of their course kits.
The university's transportation demand management has resulted in more than 65 percent of commuters arriving at the university by means other than single-occupant vehicles. York offers two free shuttle services between two campuses, a discount on local metro passes, and a car-sharing program. For cyclists, bike racks are placed at major buildings, indoor monitored bike parking is present at one location, and shower facilities are available.
The university makes a list endowment holdings available to the public on the school's website. The university makes its shareholder voting record available upon request at the treasury office.
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, and the administration reviews the votes for compliance.
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