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Report Card 2010

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Yale University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Yale University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Overall College Sustainability Leader

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $16,300 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Enrollment: 11,276

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  
A -
Yale has multiple advisory councils dedicated to sustainability, and the Office of Sustainability employs five full-time staff. This year, the university has focused on establishing institutional targets for sustainability in all university operations. Standards for environmentally preferable products were recently incorporated into the university's purchasing policy.
By 2020, Yale aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 43 percent below 2005 levels. The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies purchases renewable energy credits. Ten micro-wind turbines were recently installed at the Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center. HVAC systems in 90 buildings were retrocommissioned for efficiency. Geothermal wells are included in two new building projects.
Yale spends 35 percent of its annual food budget on local and organic products, including hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, poultry, and dairy, as well as cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef. By 2013, the university aims to purchase 60 percent of supplies from sustainable sources. All coffee and more than 50 percent of bananas served in dining halls are fair trade.
New construction projects with a budget of more than $4 million are required to achieve LEED Silver certification. Yale currently has one LEED Silver, two LEED Gold, and one LEED Platinum-certified building on campus. Two laboratories are certified as LEED-CI Gold and two are pending certifications.
Numerous student groups that address sustainability at Yale are brought together through the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, an umbrella organization that coordinates their efforts. Students are employed by the Office of Sustainability, the Yale Sustainable Food Project, and the recycling department. The Yale Harvest program offers an optional sustainability-related orientation to first-year students.
The university offers a free shuttle service to on- and off-campus locations. A commercial car-sharing program and a departmental bike-sharing program are available on campus. The campus fleet includes 13 hybrid and 4 electric vehicles. Several incentives are offered for carpooling.
Yale makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community through periodic mailings from the investments office. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is published in an annual report, which is made available to select members of the school community.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
Students, faculty, staff, and alumni serve on an advisory committee, which makes proxy voting recommendations only on environmental and ethical issues to the board. On corporate governance matters, Yale votes in accordance with proxy voting guidelines drafted by the investments office and approved by the investment committee.
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