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Report Card 2011

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Brown University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Brown University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $2,100 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Providence, Rhode Island


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  
Brown University is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and plan. A committee, an office, and several staff members lead and oversee campus environmental initiatives. The school's green purchasing policy encourages the procurement of green products, including Energy Star appliances and environmentally preferable paper products.
Brown has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 19 percent since 2007 and aims to achieve a 42 percent reduction by 2020. Energy efficiency technologies, such as economizers and heat recovery systems, have been installed across campus, and the school encourages energy conservation through awareness campaigns. Over one-third of energy purchases come from renewable sources.
The university spends 20 percent of its food budget on local products, including items from a student garden. All milk served on campus is hormone free, and some fair trade coffee is served. Brown offers discounts for the use of reusable containers; pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted; and most dining locations are trayless.
New construction must meet LEED Silver standards, at a minimum. The Sidney E. Frank Hall for Life Sciences is LEED Silver certified, and six other buildings meet LEED standards. Brown has conducted several adaptive reuse projects, has installed water-saving technologies such as dual-flush toilets around campus, and uses vegetated roofs for stormwater management.
Students participate in two annual conservation competitions, and several student groups, such as Bikes at Brown and Beyond the Bottle, promote sustainable initiatives on campus. The Environmental House is home to 14 students committed to environmentalism. New students are introduced to sustainability through presentations and eco-rep orientation activities.
Brown offers ride-matching and parking discounts to carpoolers, operates a shuttle to off-campus destinations, and provides free access to local public transit. A bike-sharing program began in 2008, and the school partners with a car-sharing program. Bike racks and showers are in place to encourage cycling, running, or walking to work.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees and senior administrators, and makes only asset allocation information available to the general public online. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is made available to the school community on a password-protected website.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and invests the endowment in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors, and donors may request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
A multi-stakeholder advisory committee makes recommendations on proxy voting for environmental and social resolutions. The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting for corporate governance resolutions.
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