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Report Card 2010

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University of Colorado
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Colorado

School details:

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $828 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Enrollment: 29,950

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  
A -
CU-Boulder employs more than 11 full-time and numerous part-time staff devoted to the campus's sustainability efforts. The Chancellor's Committee on Energy, Environment and Sustainability, as well as the Environmental Board, advise the administration on environmental policy. A comprehensive document outlines sustainability goals and plans of action. Procurement buys 100 percent recycled paper and green cleaning products.
The university aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Since 2005, emissions per square foot of building space have been reduced by 3.6 percent. By 2012, CU-Boulder also aims to lower energy, paper, and fuel use by 20 percent. More than 75 buildings on campus have been retrofitted for energy efficiency, and active campaigns encourage the community to conserve energy. The university purchases renewable energy credits and local carbon offsets.
Housing and dining services spends approximately 17 percent of its annual food budget on local and organic items. All beef and most dairy is hormone and antibiotic free. The university offers exclusively fair trade coffee and provides a discount for using reusable mugs. Composting programs are in place in most dining locations and at all athletic and student-funded events.
All new buildings and renovations must meet LEED Gold standards. Currently there are 16 buildings on campus that qualify for LEED certification and one Energy Star–labeled building. Motion sensors, insulating windows, and water-saving technologies have been installed in many existing buildings. Water consumption has decreased by 30 percent since 2003.
More than 100 students are employed by the Environmental Center and 18 additional positions are available through the Eco-Rep program. Nine student organizations are actively involved with sustainability issues, and the student government has its own sustainability director. New-student orientation features zero-waste events.
All members of the campus community receive public transportation passes and the university operates a shuttle on and around campus. Bike- and car-sharing programs are available and 80 percent of students commute via environmentally preferable transit. Forty-eight vehicles in the campus fleet are hybrid-electric or run on biodiesel fuel.
The University of Colorado Foundation makes a list of external managers and mutual funds available to the public online. Proxy voting information is accessible at the investment office to the board of directors, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community.
The foundation aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The foundation provides its investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine proxy votes. An investment policy committee is also involved with making voting recommendations to the board of directors.
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