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Report Card 2010

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University of Denver
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Denver

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $257 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Denver, Colorado

Enrollment: 8,165

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  
B +
The Sustainability Plan is a comprehensive document that expresses the University of Denver's commitment to sustainability in academics, operations, and administration and finance. The University Sustainability Council worked this year to create a new bike-share program and a community garden, and to complete the college's Sustainability Plan and Report. Two staff members work to further sustainability on campus.
Since 2005, the university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent and has pledged a 24 percent reduction by 2020. Renewable energy makes up 31.5 percent of the campus's electrical load. A revolving loan fund supports energy savings projects. Efficiency retrofits have included a lighting upgrade of the Hamilton Gymnasium, which has resulted in more than 1 million kilowatt-hours of annual electricity savings. System tune-ups and a retrocommission of the chilled water plant have also been completed. Energy conservation measures save an average of 14.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
The university is committed to buying local and sustainably produced foods whenever possible. Local purchases, including dairy, make up about 30 percent of the annual food budget. All dairy products are hormone- and antibiotic-free, and 38 percent of seafood is purchased according to sustainability guidelines. Two dining halls use only reusable dishware, and customers receive discounts for bringing their own mug. A new composting program began in fall 2009.
DU has set LEED Silver as the standard for all new construction. Two buildings are LEED-certified and five additional buildings meet LEED Silver criteria. Motion sensors have been installed in some buildings on campus, as have low-flow faucets and dual-flush, low-volume toilets.
The university has three active student organizations focused on sustainability. The DU Environmental Team recently started a community garden and encouraged dining services to begin Trayless Tuesdays. A student government committee raised $50,000 to start a bike-sharing program with the City of Denver and help start the campus's new composting initiative. There is also a sustainability-themed residential community.
Community members can participate in a commute club that gives away prizes to members who use environmentally preferable transportation. Local public transit is fully subsidized for students, faculty, and staff, and a shuttle provides free transportation on campus. A new bike-sharing program has been initiated for fall 2009.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to all members of the school community. The university does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in community development loan funds.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled funds.
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