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Report Card 2010

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Emory University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Emory University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $5,500 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Enrollment: 11,900

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  
Emory identifies sustainability as a priority in the strategic and master plans. The Sustainability Advisory Committee has implemented projects to reduce energy and water consumption and waste, advance alternative transportation on campus, encourage the use of sustainable food, and construct buildings to green standards. Two full-time and two part-time employees work in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives. Emory purchases Energy Star appliances and green cleaning products.
By 2015, Emory has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent and energy consumption levels by 25 percent from 2005 levels. Signs on campus promote energy conservation, and community members are encouraged to take a sustainability pledge. Temperature set points have been adjusted and HVAC systems are periodically shut down to reduce energy use.
The university has pledged to purchase 75 percent of food from local or sustainable sources by 2015. Ten percent of the annual food budget is spent on local and organic foods, including hormone- and antibiotic-free milk. All coffee offered in the dining halls is fair trade, and there is a discount for bringing a reusable mug. A composting program is run in the one dining hall, and 59 percent of recyclables are diverted from the landfill.
Emory mandates that all construction projects meet at least LEED Silver standards. There are nine LEED-certified buildings on campus including three LEED-NC Gold and one LEED-EB Gold building. Seven additional buildings are pending certification. The university has installed ambient light sensors and motion sensors as well as dual-flush toilets, waterless urinals, and low-flow sinks and showerheads. Rainwater harvesting systems are operated in some buildings.
The Emory Environmental Alliance runs campaigns and events related to climate change, food systems, recycling, and housing. Working with the student government, the group recently established a student environmental fund to be appropriated to sustainability initiatives on campus. Numerous other student groups work on issues including food and environmental health. During the university's recent dorm energy competition, electricity use decreased by 4 percent on average.
Emory offers discounts for carpooling and provides transit passes to employees. A biodiesel blend made from the campus's used cooking oil fuels half the campus fleet, including a shuttle that runs on and around campus. Bike- and car-sharing programs are available, and half the campus population commutes via environmentally preferable transit.
The university makes a list of all endowment holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community at the investment office. Proxy resolutions on a company-specific level are made available at the investment office to all members of the school community including faculty, staff, students and alumni.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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