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Report Card 2011

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Auburn University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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School details:

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Endowment: $425 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Auburn, Alabama


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
B -
The Campus Climate Action Committee, one of two sustainability committees at Auburn University, has finalized a climate action plan and has addressed issues such as energy reduction, green purchasing, transportation, and waste reduction. The sustainability office employs three staff members and maintains a website detailing green initiatives on campus. The university purchases energy-efficient appliances, EPEAT-certified computers, and environmentally preferable paper products.
Auburn has completed greenhouse gas emissions inventories and set initial reduction goals. The university has implemented energy efficiency measures, including nighttime temperature setbacks, lighting retrofits in 85 percent of campus building space, and system tune-ups.
Dining services purchases local and organic food items, as well as cage-free eggs, vegetarian-fed pork, fair trade coffee and chocolate, and seafood that meets sustainability guidelines. Students receive discounts for using reusable mugs, bags and to-go containers. The university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials and runs an extensive move-in recycling drive. Unwanted items are donated at the end of the year through the Check-out-for-Charity program.
The university incorporates green building guidelines into new construction, and the campus includes two LEED Gold-certified buildings. Numerous water conservation measures are utilized in campus buildings, including water metering, xeriscaping, low-flow water fixtures, and dual-flush toilets.
Auburn's sustainability office offers six paid sustainability internships to students each year. The Student Government Association has worked to increase the number of recycling bins around campus, and the Auburn Sustainability Action Program, one of several sustainability-themed groups on campus, focuses on green student initiatives. The winning dorm in the Sustain-a-Bowl competition reduced their energy use by 34 percent and water consumption by 43 percent over a one-month period.
All members of the school community can ride the regional transit system free of charge. The university provides free transportation around campus and to off-campus locations and has recently transitioned all buses from the university's seven internal bus routes into hybrid electric diesel models. The university is in the process of implementing a car-sharing program and recently finished construction of a campus bike shop.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to the public at the investment office. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university seeks to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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