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Report Card 2010

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University of Houston
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Houston

School details:

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Endowment: $518 million as of July 31, 2009

Location: Houston, Texas

Enrollment: 25,551

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 -
The university recently established the Campus Sustainability Task Force and is currently finalizing a formal campus-wide sustainability policy. A green living guide is provided to all new faculty, staff, and students.
Energy conservation projects include after-hours HVAC setbacks, installing heat-recovery wheels for extracting energy from the exhaust air, and commissioning building systems to optimize energy consumption. Over the next three years, the university will expand its central plant facilities and replace two boilers, which is anticipated to reduce emissions to 30 percent of their current levels.
UH implemented a trayless dining program, which has resulted in a 45 percent reduction in waste. The university composts one-third of its preconsumer food waste and half of all landscaping waste. Two vegan meals are offered daily. UH has formal organic and local food policies, and all milk and poultry purchases are hormone- and antibiotic-free. Fair trade coffee options are available in dining halls and all retail coffee locations.
The university's sustainable design guidelines require that all new construction and major renovation projects be designed to LEED Silver standards. There are currently three buildings designed to LEED Silver standards. Waterless urinals have been installed in a dozen buildings across campus, and residence halls have been fitted with low-flow plumbing fixtures and water- and energy-efficient laundry units. UH has a sloped green roof and no chemicals are used in any grounds work.
The university employs a student sustainability intern and addresses sustainability at new-student orientation. A student-run environmental club has worked with the school to advance the recycling program, and, as a result of their efforts, the university recently added 300 outdoor recycling bins to campus. The group also works to assess the campus's carbon footprint. Students tend to a community garden on campus.
The university offers free shuttle service between out-lying parking lots and on-campus locations and a nearby transit center. In 2009, a fare reloading station was installed on campus that allows students to add money to their university-provided transit cards. Over 10 percent of the university's fleet is comprised of electric vehicles. University policies also promote a pedestrian- and bike-friendly campus by locating parking lots on the periphery of the campus and calling for additional bike racks on campus.
The university makes a list of investment managers available to the school community and to the public. This information is available on a publicly accessible website. Shareholder voting records are made accessible to the public online, as per open record law.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university provides its investment managers with guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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