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Report Card 2010

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Pacific Lutheran University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of Pacific Lutheran University

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $62 million as of May 31, 2009

Location: Tacoma, Washington

Enrollment: 3,354


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


  An application was submitted by Sheri Tonn and Kara De Armond  to have this school evaluated in the College Sustainability Report Card 2010. A contribution was made to cover the cost of inclusion.   Learn more  about how a school can apply for inclusion.  


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

Overall grade  
A -
The Pacific Lutheran University Sustainability Committee is in charge of implementing projects to fulfill the Presidents' Climate Commitment. Additionally, the committee has awarded grants to three student sustainability fellows for on-campus projects. The university has an Energy Star procurement policy and only purchases new computers with a Gold EPEAT rating.
The university has installed geothermal heating and cooling and has begun LEED commissioning of all mechanical systems in new and renovated buildings. Purchased wind power provides 45 percent of PLU’s electric energy use.
Dining services purchases from a local dairy, and all milk is hormone- and antibiotic-free. Herbs from the PLU community garden, as well as cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef, are used in dining halls. A composting program, which has expanded to offices and residence halls, collects all food waste and some packaging. PLU also implemented the Can the Can program in which PLU community members traded their large office trash cans for 1.5 liter cans, helping to achieve the university's 71 percent diversion rate.
PLU requires that all new construction meet LEED Silver standards and that retrofits incorporate LEED standards. The campus currently has two LEED-certified buildings. Low-flow showerheads and energy-efficient laundry units have been installed in all campus buildings.
PLU hosts a zero-waste picnic during new-student orientation and emphasizes sustainability through discussion and example. The university offers a full-time student sustainability internship and a number of part-time positions.The student group Grass Roots Environmental Action Now (GREAN) has sold more than 1,000 reusable bottles to students, staff, and faculty. Students run PLU's community garden.
A quarter of the university fleet is made up of alternative fuel vehicles. The university subsidizes the Pierce Transit monthly pass for faculty, staff, and full-time commuter students. A bike co-op offers 15 bikes to rent by the semester, as well as repair services. PLU limits the vehicles that are permitted to drive on campus.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the school community. A list of external managers and information about multiple holdings is made available to the public online.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles as well as on-campus sustainability projects.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds and hedge funds.
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