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Report Card 2010

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Carnegie Mellon University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Carnegie Mellon University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $861 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Enrollment: 9,634

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  
Carnegie Mellon's strategic plan states a goal of transitioning to a sustainable society, and the master plan includes a sustainability report. The Green Practices Committee has worked on issues of transportation, food composting, and waste reduction, among other things. The purchasing policy encourages procurement of Energy Star appliances.
Carnegie Mellon has completed many energy conservation projects, including the installation of turn-off valves on radiators. The university generates renewable energy from two photovoltaic arrays, an experimental biodiesel system, and a solar thermal system. Approximately 23 percent of the university's energy comes from renewable sources, and some landfill gas is substituted for natural gas.
Carnegie Mellon spends $400,000 annually on locally grown foods through a distributor. Dining halls offer hormone-free chicken and dairy, cage-free eggs, and sustainably harvested seafood. One location composts preconsumer kitchen scraps. A move-out program allows students to donate unwanted goods.
Carnegie Mellon has seven LEED-certified buildings, including two at the Gold level. The university is awaiting evaluation of five additional construction projects. Timers have been installed on all lights, and washers and dryers are high-efficiency. Most incandescent bulbs have been replaced with high-efficiency bulbs, and a greywater system is used in one building for irrigation and toilets.
Student Eco-Reps serve as sustainability resources in residence halls. The student group Net Impact has worked to improve the recycling program, implement electricity saving measures, and institute a compostable catered lunch option. New-student orientation includes an information session on green practices. The university employs four student sustainability interns.
Financial incentives are available for individuals who carpool to campus. Faculty, staff, and students are given a free public transportation pass, and a free shuttle circulates throughout campus and to off-campus destinations. The university partners with a car-sharing program.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community, and sends the information upon request. Proxy voting records are available at the investment office to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. In the coming year, the university will strongly consider making additional allocations to dedicated clean technology venture capital funds.
Administrators vote proxies for any securities directly held by the university. External investment managers vote proxies on all separately managed accounts. The investment committee of the board of trustees is considering a formal program for the creation of proxy voting guidelines that are sensitive to sustainability-related issues.
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