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Report Card 2010

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Tulane University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Tulane University

School details:

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Endowment: $802 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Enrollment: 8,764

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  
Sustainability components are included in Tulane’s strategic and master plans. The university has a sustainability committee that has expanded recycling and guided the development of an Energy Star purchasing policy and a green information technology campaign.
The university reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent from 2006 to 2007 and is in the process of developing a climate action plan to set guidelines for further reductions. Energy efficiency projects have included improvements to the uptown campus power plant, steam system, and buildings, and energy management strategies such as adjusted scheduling of building cooling.
Tulane recycles traditional materials and electronics, and collects over ten tons of donations for local nonprofits during move out. Over 20 percent of food purchased by dining services is grown, raised, or processed locally. A local dairy provides the university with hormone- and antibiotic-free milk, and most seafood is purchased in accordance with sustainability guidelines. To reduce waste, dining services has implemented trayless dining, reusable cup discounts, durable dishware in food court eateries, and recycling. Tulane contracts its dining services through Sodexo, which plans to double its fair trade purchases each year.
The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life was selected by the AIA/COTE as a 2008 Top Ten Green Project. All major construction and renovation projects are pursuing LEED certification. On the downtown campus, HVAC upgrades are planned for three buildings, and lighting retrofits will upgrade 2,000 fixtures. Low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads have been installed across the uptown campus.
Students participate in five environmentally themed student organizations, including the Environmental Law Society, Tulane Environmental Action League, and the School of Architecture Sustainability Committee. The Tulane Green Club organized a carbon offsets program for students traveling abroad.
A free shuttle provides transportation on and around campus. Students developed a bike-sharing program in 2008, and free repair services are provided. Forty percent of commuters use environmentally preferable transit.
The university makes a list of all holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the school community. In addition, all members of the school community receive this information, but without the number of shares.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development investment funds and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
Faculty, staff, and students serve on a newly formed advisory committee, which makes proxy voting recommendations to the chief investment officer.
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