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Report Card 2010

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Tufts University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Tufts University

School details:

Endowment: $1,500 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Enrollment: 9,110

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  
Tufts has formalized a commitment to sustainability through a sustainability policy and its master plan. More than nine administrative working groups, as well as two staff in the Office of Sustainability, work to advance sustainability on campus. The university's green purchasing policy sets standards for all university procurement.
Tufts has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, with a long-term goal of 75 to 85 percent reductions by 2050. From 2005 to 2008, the university reduced emissions by 27 percent. Boilers and chillers have been upgraded, lighting has been replaced, and temperature setbacks have been set for energy efficiency. The university has installed two small solar hot water systems on campus and purchases 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
The university purchases food directly from ten local farms, and purchases its milk from a local dairy. Tufts serves only hormone- and antibiotic-free milk, and purchases some seafood according to sustainability guidelines. Fair trade bananas are purchased whenever available. Composting programs are run in 90 percent of dining locations and the university has an electronics recycling program. A furniture exchange is run throughout the year.
The university has two buildings that meet LEED Gold criteria and one that meets Silver. The university is working on retrocommissioning many of its buildings, and all faucets and toilets are low-flow to meet Massachusetts law. Toilets are also being replaced with dual-flush models.
Students can participate in paid internships in the Office of Sustainability and there has been an Eco-Reps program on campus since 2000. There are approximately six student organizations that focus on different aspects of environmental sustainability. The annual Do It In The Dark competition encourages students to conserve energy.
Tufts partners with a carpool-matching service, and students can purchase public transit passes at a discounted price. A car-sharing program, including four hybrids, is available to all members of the campus community, and a university-run shuttle runs on and around campus.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. Full information on proxy voting is made available only to trustees, senior administrators, and the three student members of the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in, and further exploring, community development loan funds.
The university invests primarily through commingled funds and trusts and does not have the ability to vote proxies in most cases. When there is the ability to vote proxies, a three-student committee can make proxy voting recommendations to a subcommittee of the Administration and Finance Committee of the Board of Directors.
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