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Report Card 2010

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University of Alabama
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of University of Alabama

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $764 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Enrollment: 23,579

Type: Public


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 -
Although the administration has not formally committed to sustainability, the master plan includes guidelines for energy efficiency and responsible resource use on campus. The University of Alabama Environmental Stewardship Committee was formed in fall 2008 to promote awareness of and participation in sustainability efforts on campus. The committee is creating a website to detail sustainability events, projects, and news. The university purchases Energy Star, Green Seal, and EPEAT-registered products.
In 2009, UA completed its first ever greenhouse gas emissions inventory to establish a benchmark for future reductions. The school’s energy policy calls for specific temperature settings in winter and summer. Life cycle cost analysis is performed for all large equipment purchases to ensure that the school selects energy-efficient models.
In 2008, all dining halls went trayless, eliminating approximately 6,000 pounds of solid waste per week. Bama Dining spends 7 percent of its annual budget on local food and offers exclusively fair trade coffee. The school composts 102 tons of preconsumer food waste annually and donates leftover desserts, breads, and canned goods to the local soup kitchen. The university dining halls also recycle used cooking oil.
UA is currently in the process of submitting four residence halls, with a total of 480,922 square feet, for Energy Star certification. Low-flow toilets, urinals, and faucets can be found in eight campus buildings, including the Bryant-Denny Stadium.
A student government group promotes sustainability on campus, as well as at athletic events. The University of Alabama Environmental Council worked with the school to expand its recycling program, and students developed a green guide to be distributed to incoming freshmen.
Introduced to the campus in 2009, the Zipcar car-sharing service offers the use of six vehicles, including two hybrids. Membership to the BamaBikes program grants community members access to 36 bikes across campus. The CrimsonRide transit service operates four routes, free of charge, on weekdays year round. The master plan focuses on creating a pedestrian-friendly environment and reducing vehicle use on campus.
The University of Alabama makes a list of cash holdings, external managers, and mutual funds available to the public, and sends the information upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development loan funds. The university is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as its entire endowment is invested in mutual and commingled funds.
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