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Report Card 2010

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Furman University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Furman University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $444 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Greenville, South Carolina

Enrollment: 3,000

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  
B +
Furman University has a formal sustainability policy and has integrated sustainability into its campus master and strategic plans. The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability opened in fall 2008 and employs a director, as well as three full-time and two part-time staff. The Sustainability Planning Council includes 124 campus and community members and addresses sustainability throughout college operations, as well as community outreach and campus culture. The university has a comprehensive green purchasing policy.
A campus energy audit was completed in 2009. Photovoltaic, solar thermal, and geothermal systems are located on numerous structures around campus, including the physical activities center and the Duke Energy Learning Village.
Furman purchases from 20 local farms and offers fair trade coffee and a variety of organic items. A campus organic garden supplies herbs to the dining hall and sells at a farm stand. The university purchases exclusively hormone- and antibiotic-free poultry. The dining hall composts all preconsumer food waste and has eliminated trays.
All new construction and substantial renovations must meet LEED Silver standards at a minimum. Herman Hipp Hall and Duke Library are LEED Gold-certified. Six buildings are registered for LEED certification. Cliffs Cottage, Furman's carbon-neutral sustainability center, is pursuing a LEED Platinum rating.
Furman offers two sustainable living/learning communities and ten sustainability living/learning laboratories, including a biodiesel operation and a solar aquatic facility. Orientation includes an overview of Furman’s sustainability efforts. Sustainable Connections, an umbrella group that works with 14 student groups, promotes cooperation among student-led campaigns and initiatives. The Environmental Action Group has been active for 20 years. The Shi Center for Sustainability offers 21 paid student positions. A student-guided revolving loan fund for campus conservation is available starting fall 2009.
Close to half of campus vehicles use alternative fuels, including 47 electric vehicles. A biodiesel facility produces fuel for the lawn machines. A shuttle bus provides access to on- and off-campus locations. Furman is reviving its green bike program in fall 2009.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings and its proxy voting record available to all members of the school community. Most information is available online, but more detailed information is sent upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in sustainability-related funds. Furman is also exploring investing in on-campus sustainability projects, including a major renewable energy initiative.
Most of the endowment is invested in commingled funds. For separately managed accounts, the university's investment managers follow the recommendations of a third-party proxy service that is supportive of good governance as well as environmental policies and climate change.
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