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Report Card 2010

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University of California–Merced
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of University of California-Merced

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $22 million as of July 31, 2009

Location: Merced, California

Enrollment: 2,705


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


An application was submitted by Ronald Durbin and Katie Unruh to have this school evaluated in the College Sustainability Report Card 2010. A contribution was made to cover the cost of inclusion.   Learn more  about how a school can apply for inclusion.  


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
B +
UC Merced follows the UC system's sustainability policies and has established stricter energy efficiency requirements and more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability has written a climate action plan. The university purchases Energy Star appliances, paper containing 30 percent postconsumer recycled content, Green Seal-certified cleaning products, and organic pesticides.
The university has committed to becoming zero net energy and carbon neutral by 2020. All new buildings are designed to consume half the energy of other university buildings in California, must perform 30 percent better than California's energy codes specify, and achieve all LEED credits for optimizing efficiency. At night, all lights are turned off and temperature set points are relaxed. Students conduct energy efficiency awareness programs.
The dining halls feature local and organic food, and all coffee is fair trade. The university has a new energy-efficient dish room and features some zero-waste catering events. All kitchen food scraps are composted and all landscaping waste is composted or mulched.
The university has committed to LEED Gold certification for all new campus buildings. There are currently seven LEED buildings on campus. Energy efficiency technologies include minimization of reheat, motion sensors, ambient light sensors and timers. The campus uses mainly waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Students in the Green Campus group focus on energy-savings projects and have organized a dorm energy competition and a pilot LED lighting retrofit in dorms. There are also student positions available as recycling assistants, coordinating the recycling program. The Green Club has hosted an Earth Day festival and a farmers market, plans clean-ups, and educates the community on environmental awareness.
Faculty, staff, and students who carpool are given a reduced-rate parking permit and reserved parking spots. The university subsidizes a bus route from campus to a major transit hub. There are showers and changing rooms for bike commuters. The long-range development plan discusses a pedestrian-oriented campus and provides housing for all students, faculty, and staff in close proximity to the university.
The university makes a list of all holdings available online to the public. 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 community development loan funds.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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