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Report Card 2010

University of Minnesota
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Minnesota

School details:

 Grade higher than last year

 Overall College Sustainability Leader

 Campus Sustainability Leader

 Endowment Sustainability Leader

 

Endowment: $1,140 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Enrollment: 63,716

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-
The board of regents adopted a sustainability and environmental policy in 2004, and the university incorporates sustainability into both its strategic and master plans. A broad-based campus sustainability committee worked on policy goals and outcome measures that were reviewed with the campus community in spring 2009. The university employs six full-time staff dedicated to sustainability.
The University of Minnesota is committed to reducing energy consumption to 5 percent below 2008 levels by 2010 and is halfway to achieving this goal through building retrocommmissioning. Carbon dioxide emissions from on-campus steam production were reduced by 28 percent since 1998. The university generates approximately 4 percent of its electricity from oat hulls burned for biofuel.
Dining services spends 20 percent of its budget on food that is grown or processed locally. The university offers 100 percent cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free milk. Campus dining facilities collect 125 tons of pre- and postconsumer compost annually. The university is expanding its organics recycling program with plans to distribute collection bins to all buildings.
The state of Minnesota has set specific green building guidelines for public institutions that are approximately equivalent to LEED Silver certification criteria. The university is awaiting LEED certification on its new stadium. Over 160 new efficient washers were installed in residence halls, saving 3.5 million gallons of water each year.
Sustainability internship opportunities are available to students in the dining services, residential life, energy management, and recycling departments. The student-led Energy Efficiency Student Alliance sponsors energy audits, and several other student groups are dedicated to raising awareness about conservation and promoting campus sustainability.
The University of Minnesota fleet includes approximately 175 alternative-energy vehicles. The U-Pass and Metropass programs provide public transportation discounts for students and employees, respectively. The university is developing a bike-sharing program with the city that will make 1,000 bicycles available on campus and at public locations.
The university makes a list external managers available to the public upon request, as per open record law. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available to the public upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The endowment invests in private funds that develop real estate and buildings to LEED certification requirements. Private equity managers invest a portion of their funds in clean technologies and alternative energy companies.
The Social Concerns Committee annually reviews and recommends votes for shareholder resolutions concerning social issues for which the university holds stock. The committee includes academic, alumni, staff, faculty, and student representatives.
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