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Report Card 2010

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Seattle University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Seattle University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $157 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Seattle, Washington

Enrollment: 5,415

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 +
Seattle University’s master plan includes a section devoted to sustainability, and the strategic plan includes sustainability as one of three issues present across all five priorities of the plan. The university has three full-time sustainability staff, and the Environmental Advisory Council worked to make sustainability the theme for a fall 2008 faculty and staff convocation.
Having completed greenhouse gas emissions inventories dating back to 2005, Seattle University has made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. The university has offset 15 percent of its electricity use through renewable energy credits, and has installed solar panels on the roof of the student center. To further energy efficiency and conservation, the university has introduced temperature setbacks, retrocommissioned HVAC systems, and implemented a centralized energy management system.
Seattle University's vendor prioritizes purchasing organic ingredients from within 150 miles of the campus. The vendor spends approximately $500,000 on produce, dairy, poultry, and seafood from the surrounding area. All eggs are cage-free, poultry and milk are hormone-free, and beef is pasture-raised and hormone-free. To minimize waste, the school has both pre- and postconsumer composting programs. The campus's overall waste diversion rate is 45 percent.
Seattle University has committed to meeting LEED Gold standards for all new construction and major renovations. The student center is LEED-certified. Low-flow showerheads are present throughout most of campus, in addition to pint-flush urinals and dual-flush toilets.
During orientation, new students learn about recycling and composting on campus, as well as the local bus system, and they receive a reusable mug. The environmental sustainability floor in the Hurtado Learning Community houses 56 students. Drawing on Jesuit tradition, this community is designed to address questions of civic engagement and social responsibility. Seven student organizations address sustainability.
Out of 31 vehicles in the campus fleet, 2 are hybrid and 14 are electric. Seattle offers reduced parking rates for carpoolers and subsidizes over half of the cost of public transportation for students. A car-sharing program on campus includes one hybrid. Many areas on the main campus are closed to private vehicles.
The university makes a list of all holdings available at the investment office to all members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development loan funds. The university is currently considering investment policy provisions that consider environmental/sustainability factors.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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