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Report Card 2011

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Denison University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Denison University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $522 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Granville, Ohio


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 +
Denison University's Campus Sustainability Committee recently coordinated the hiring of a sustainability coordinator, signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment, awarded grants to student sustainability projects, and made efforts to reduce dining hall waste. Energy Star appliances are purchased whenever possible, and almost all office paper, napkins, and paper towels used on campus are made from recycled material.
To reduce energy use, the university has taken a variety of measures, including installing energy management systems in 81 percent of buildings and steam line insulation in all buildings. Timers and motion sensors for temperature control and electric metering are utilized in nearly all buildings.
Dining services spends 19 percent of its food budget on local products. All milk served in the dining halls is hormone and antibiotic free; all seafood is sustainably harvested; and all coffee is fair trade. Trayless dining has been implemented; pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals; and senior apartments feature compost bins. To reduce paper waste, campus printers default to double-sided printing.
All new buildings must meet at least LEED Silver standards, and one campus building is LEED Gold certified. Four buildings have been repurposed for alternative use. To conserve water, the university utilizes water metering and leak reduction in all buildings, and low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed in 90 percent of buildings.
Student groups have worked on initiatives such as a bike-sharing program, clothing swap events, an on-campus garden, and implementing a green fee. The Green Team's Earth Day event included a “trashion show,” where students made outfits from recycled materials. Residents of the Homestead live off the grid and try to minimize their resource use. Two interns work on campus sustainability projects.
A free shuttle runs to local shopping destinations; a ride-share board is available for carpoolers; and five bikes are available for free rental. The master plan emphasizes the importance of a walkable campus, and students are not allowed to park in the center of campus.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, and only asset allocation information is available to senior administrators and other select members of the school community. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds and on-campus sustainability projects. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The college is unable to vote proxies for the portion of the endowment that is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles. For direct investments, the college asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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