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Report Card 2010

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Southwestern University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Southwestern University

School details:

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Endowment: $230 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Georgetown, Texas

Enrollment: 1,250

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  
C +
The Talloires Declaration and Presidents’ Climate Commitment serve as the basis of Southwestern’s sustainability policy, with the master plan focusing on sustainable design. The university’s Talloires Committee, including faculty, administrators, staff, and students, has worked on several initiatives, including a community garden and use of wind power. The university employs a full-time sustainability staff person.
Southwestern has completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and a contract for renewable energy credits goes into affect in fall 2010. This contract will offset over 50 percent of the university’s electricity use. Southwestern has a new energy-efficient chiller, along with digital controls for HVAC systems in 90 percent of buildings.
Dining services spends 30 percent of its food budget on locally grown food, including produce and dairy. Dining facilities offer confinement-free eggs, chicken, and beef, as well as hormone-free milk and fair trade coffee. To reduce waste, the university has pre- and postconsumer composting in place, and donates excess food to community organizations.
All new buildings and major renovations must meet LEED Silver standards, and one building meets LEED Gold standards. Fluorescent lighting is present in most buildings and all residence halls have low-flow showerheads. The university diverts 92 percent of nonhazardous construction waste from landfills.
Students for Environmental Activism and Knowledge offers programming for new students during orientation, and residential advisers advocate for recycling and composting. The Civic Engagement/Green Hall Living-Learning Community houses over 50 students, and active organizations include the Garden Club. Through the Campus Energy Challenge, all campus residents compete to reduce water and electricity consumption.
Southwestern's fleet includes 34 electric carts, and students and administrators are collaborating with local government to create public transportation programs. The Pirate Bikes program includes 150 bikes that school community members may use for free. The university’s master plan has designed the campus as pedestrian-only, and roads have been turned into sidewalks and bike paths.
Southwestern University makes a list of all holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and is exploring, but not currently invested in, community development loan funds.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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