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Report Card 2010

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $2,359 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Enrollment: 23,788

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 sustainability office employs three full-time staff. UNC has a formal sustainability policy and also includes sustainability in its master plan. The university's Energy Efficient Purchasing Policy mandates that Energy Star appliances be purchased, and the Sustainability Advisory Committee has addressed issues of energy, transportation, and purchasing.
Through efficiency measures, such as lighting retrofits, temperature setbacks, and energy modeling, the university has decreased its energy consumption per square foot by 12 percent since 2003. The campus is partially powered through on-site geothermal and solar energy, and a 32-megawatt cogeneration system produces steam and electricity.
Trayless dining has reduced the university's water consumption by about 12,000 gallons each week. Dining services purchases 20 percent of food and beverages from producers within 150 miles. All students on a meal plan receive a reusable take-out container. Students receive a free reusable bag after food purchases over ten dollars and a discount on coffee when they bring in a reusable mug.
The university designs all construction to meet or exceed LEED Silver standards and to exceed ASHRAE standards by 30%. One new building is registered for LEED Platinum certification. All of the university's district chilled water plants are connected to a reclaimed wastewater system that is also used for irrigation and toilets. Lighting occupancy sensors are installed in 40 percent of common spaces.
The Sustainability Living Learning Community focuses on nine areas of sustainable living and holds speaker events and field trips. The Environmental Affairs Committee of Student Government works to increase recycling on campus and supports a community garden. There is a Green Games competition among residence halls. There are at least 15 sustainability-oriented student organizations including the Carolina Garden Co-op, Students Working in the Environment for Active Transformation (SWEAT), and Fair, Local, and Organic Food (FLO).
Alternative-fuel vehicles comprise almost one-third of UNC's motor fleet. Under the Commuter Alternative Program, faculty, staff, and students who give up their parking permits receive benefits that include a 50 percent discount on the fee for the university's car-sharing program.
The university and the UNC Management Company make a list of endowment holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. The university does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds/commingled funds public.
The university aims to optimize investment return, is currently invested in renewable energy funds, and is exploring, but not currently invested in, community development loan funds. The UNC Investment Fund utilizes real estate managers and natural resource managers that include environmental/sustainability factors in their investment process.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as virtually the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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