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Report Card 2010

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University of Chicago
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Chicago

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Location: Chicago, Illinois

Enrollment: 11,933

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  
The University of Chicago employs a director of sustainability. The Sustainability Council brings together faculty, students, and staff to collaborate on sustainability projects. In the last year, the council hosted Earth Week activities, led Greening Your Office workshops, and developed a partnership with a community garden. The university purchases Energy Star computing equipment and uses green cleaning products.
To reduce energy use, the university regulates temperature based on building occupancy, and has a centralized energy management system. Efficient fume hoods and LED lights have been installed. There has been a campus-wide campaign to encourage reduced energy consumption. The university purchases wind energy to power a portion of all residence halls.
The dining halls purchase local dairy, apples, and bread, as well as fair trade coffee and tea. Some produce purchased is organic. All milk is hormone-free, and all seafood meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines. The university's dining halls compost pre- and postconsumer food scraps, diverting three tons of waste per month. Beginning in fall 2009, dining halls will eliminate disposable dishware.
The Kenwood Building is certified LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors. LEED certification is expected this fall for the Searle Lab Building and several other buildings have been registered. The university is currently developing a green building policy and sustainable building standards. Many buildings feature motion sensor lighting.
The sustainability office employs student interns and also trains student volunteers on the university's green activities and policies, who then serve as a resource for peers. The Green Campus Initiative has improved recycling practices and organized awareness events, including Earth Week programming. The group also hosts the Battle of the Bulbs dorm energy competition.
Carpool vehicles receive discounted or free parking passes, as well as 24 free parking days. To encourage the use of public transportation, free emergency rides home are available. There is a car-sharing program on campus with free membership for the first year. Employees who bike to work are given a reduced gym membership for use of the showers. Three bus routes are free for anyone with a university ID, and there are free shuttles that run through campus.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in several funds that make investments in renewable energy companies. Within the real assets portfolio, the endowment has investments with several managers that follow LEED sustainable green building and development practices and FSC certification.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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