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Report Card 2010

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Union College
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Union College

School details:

Endowment: $400 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Schenectady, New York

Enrollment: 2,212

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 U Sustain Committee, which includes administrators, students, faculty, and staff, develops and implements sustainability initiatives at Union College. The U Sustain website outlines progress on sustainability initiatives at the college. President Ainlay signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Union has completed a carbon emissions inventory. The new Wold Center will be run on 35 percent renewable energy. The university purchases renewable energy credits. All motors have been replaced with 22 percent more efficient models.
Union attempts to source local produce whenever possible. Local purchases include produce, honey, and maple syrup. The dining hall has a kiosk that provides exclusively local and organic options. All coffee served on campus is fairly traded, and campus community members receive a discount when they bring their own mug or cup. The college also serves milk from a local dairy.
Union has stipulated that all future buildings will be LEED Gold-certified. The Eco House features water reclamation, solar power, low-flow toilets, and computer-monitored metering to provide students with energy-use comparison data.
U Sustain, a student-led organization, created a campus garden, serves organic lunches at the Ozone Café, and led a campaign to inspire other students to reduce their consumption of beef. Students also volunteered to collect recyclable electronics and hazardous waste, and started a canvas bag borrowing program to help reduce waste generated by plastic bags.
A campus trolley runs at night and during inclement weather. Bike racks are located around campus to accommodate cyclists. In response to student requests, the residence life department developed a bike-sharing program called Cycles for U.
The college makes a list of all holdings available to the public at the investment office. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is accessible by the public and is found at the investment office.
The college aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The college provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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