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Report Card 2010

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University of Rochester
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Rochester

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $1,300 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Rochester, New York

Enrollment: 8,131

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  
C +
In 2007, the University of Rochester developed "25 Initiatives" to improve sustainability on campus, later formulating specific plans for implementation. The university employs a full-time recycling coordinator, and the University Council on Sustainability oversees sustainability initiatives on campus. All washing machines and dryers purchased for residence halls are Energy Star-rated, and the university purchases some paper products that meet Forest Stewardship Council standards.
The University of Rochester has a cogeneration plant and purchases 1,160,000 kilowatt-hours of wind energy credits each year. The university has retrocommissioned several buildings, performed temperature setbacks, and installed more energy-efficient light fixtures, as well as upgraded the utility systems of its medical center hospital and two medical center research buildings.
Dining services spends 23 percent of its annual food budget on local items. Most of the university's seafood purchases meet Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines. All dining facilities compost preconsumer food waste, and retail coffee houses on campus also run postconsumer compost programs. A student-run program recycles used cooking oil to make biodiesel fuel. Residential dining facilities are trayless.
The university has established LEED Silver standards as the goal for new building projects. Audits have been completed in 13 buildings to determine eligibility for the Energy Star building label.
The student group Grassroots runs programs such as an end-of-semester collection of unwanted items and the school's bike-share initiative. The student government's sustainability council helps to oversee sustainability efforts. An Eco-Reps program was introduced to all freshman dorms in 2009. The winning dormitory in the UR Unplugged competition achieved an 18 percent reduction in energy consumption.
The university has developed a policy to consider alternate fuel vehicles before making any vehicle purchases. The campus motor fleet includes hybrid, electric, and biodiesel vehicles. The university provides a free shuttle around campus and to local destinations, and carpoolers are eligible for discounted parking permits and guaranteed rides home.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community and sends the information upon request. The university will acknowledge, upon written request, whether or not it owns a specific security. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is sent upon request to all members of the school community including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. Certain firms invest in sustainable energy or environmentally oriented companies.
The investment committee of the board of trustees makes proxy voting decisions.
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