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Report Card 2010

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University of Wisconsin–Madison
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Wisconsin–Madison

School details:

Endowment: $2,066 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Enrollment: 41,000

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

Student Survey: No


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
The University of Wisconsin-Madison runs a campus-wide sustainability initiative that is coordinated by three full-time staff and supported by several campus groups and committees. The initiative organizes education and awareness programs, and oversees technical upgrades for energy efficiency. Most paper used on campus is made from recycled materials.
The university has declared a goal to reduce its energy consumption and environmental footprint 20 percent by the year 2010. From 2006 to 2009, the university reduced its carbon emissions by 73,000 tons. Wind power makes up 10 percent of UW-Madison's electrical load.
Dining services spends 42 percent of its annual food budget on local and organic items, including dairy and organic produce from on-campus sources. All eggs purchased are cage-free, and some coffee is fair trade. Composting programs for preconsumer food waste are run in some dining locations, and excess food is donated weekly to a local pantry.
The university has committed to seeking LEED Silver certification for all new construction projects, and eight new buildings are expected to meet LEED criteria. The Education Building has achieved an Energy Star label. Occupancy sensors and low-flow plumbing fixtures have been installed across campus.
The university employs three student interns to address sustainability issues on campus. A new green-themed residential community opened in fall 2009. Student organizations, such as the Environmental Studies Club, are involved in sustainability initiatives. All new students receive reusable bags and water bottles at orientation.
All faculty, staff, and students receive unlimited bus passes for use on local transit, and a university shuttle provides free transportation around campus. A community car-sharing program is available, and carpoolers are able to split the cost of a parking pass. Currently, 68 percent of the campus community commutes via environmentally preferable transportation. The campus fleet includes 25 hybrid and 19 electric vehicles.
Open record law requires that proxy voting records and a list of endowment holdings be available to the public; this information is accessible online.
The university aims to optimize investment return. Regent policy states, “For donors who place a high priority on socially responsible investing, use of special investment vehicles will be explored.”
A member of the university administration determines proxy votes based on guidelines. The UW System Trust Funds consider social responsibility criteria in voting shareholder proxy proposals and seek student and public comment.
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