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Report Card 2010

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Boston University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of Boston University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,180 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 23,436

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
In 2009, Boston University hired a sustainability director, who is charged with developing and implementing a strategy for integrating environmental principles within operational practices. The sustainability committee advises the university leadership on environmental matters as well. The committee's four working groups focus on recycling and waste management, energy, green building, and communications and outreach.
BU has begun collecting data for a greenhouse gas inventory. Temperature setbacks, heating upgrades, and a steam trap program help the campus save energy. Beginning in fall 2009, a monthly poster campaign will educate the campus community about small steps they can take to save energy, such as powering down computers and using compact fluorescent bulbs.
Dining services spends close to 30 percent of its budget on local food, working with 45 farms and 137 producers. In 2008, trays were eliminated from residential dining facilities, and in the 2008-2009 academic year, BU collected over 400 tons of food waste for composting. In addition to standard materials, the university's recycling program also accepts electronic waste.
The university is committed to a standard of LEED-certifiable design for new construction projects and has two LEED-certified buildings. Renovation projects incorporate high-efficiency systems, local materials, and low-VOC paints. Meters on the cooling towers and irrigation systems monitor consumption, and motion sensors, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow showerheads help conserve energy and water.
The Environmental Student Organization organizes various campaigns and events, including Step it Up, PowerShift, and the Campus Climate Challenge. The student government has a director of environmental affairs. Sustainability @ BU employs five paid student interns, and, in falf 2009, BU will pilot an Eco Reps program.
The university provides a shuttle service, participates in a car-sharing program, and organizes ride-sharing initiatives. Students and staff are eligible for discounts on transit passes, and carpools have designated parking spaces. The university owns 3 hybrids, and 217 bicycle racks are available throughout the main campus.
The university makes a list of external managers, a list of mutual funds, and cash holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the school community. The university makes a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the community. This information is available at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development funds.
A member of the university administration determines proxy votes.
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