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Report Card 2010

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York University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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York University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $264 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Enrollment: 42,775

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  
B +
The President’s Council on Sustainability advises the president on a variety of sustainability initiatives, and the Yorkwise campaign has been launched to educate the campus community about sustainability. The Office of Environmental Design and Sustainability, created in 2008, employs one full-time staff member.
In 2008, York University achieved a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 levels. The university has invested in an energy management program to meet its commitment of reducing emissions to 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2011. There are two cogeneration plants on campus, and HVAC retrocommissions and lighting retrofits have been completed for energy efficiency.
The university's food service providers purchase fair trade coffee, as well as organic and local produce and beef. The university is currently conducting a pilot program with a local community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Food waste is composted in 22 compost digesters around campus.
The campus features seven buildings constructed to meet LEED criteria. New buildings and renovations incorporate green building strategies, such as the use of environmentally preferable materials, efficient airflow systems, and storm water retention. Occupancy sensors and low-flow plumbing fixtures have been installed around campus.
Numerous student organizations at York work to advance sustainability, including the student subcommittee of the president's council. The York is U Green Team organizes events such as the environmental expo, tree planting, an eco-food fair, and an eco-friendly fashion show. Residence environmental ambassadors coordinate residence recycling initiatives, and electricity use in the residence halls decreased by 26 percent during the recent Res Race to Zero energy challenge.
York runs two free shuttle services between its two campuses, offers a discount on local metro passes, and awards financial incentives to carpoolers. Bike racks are placed at major buildings; indoor monitored bike parking is present at one location; and shower facilities are available for cyclists. More than 65 percent of community members commute to the university by means other than single-occupant vehicles.
As per open record law, York University makes a list of external fund managers and some endowment holdings available to the public online. Votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level are also made available to the public, as per open record law, and are sent to individuals upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds. Sustainability factors were added to York's investment policy philosophy in 2008.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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