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Report Card 2011

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Iowa State University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Iowa State University

School details:

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Endowment: $412 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Ames, Iowa


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  
Iowa State University's sustainability committee has signed a wind energy contract, instituted trayless dining, and crafted green building policies. The president also created the Live Green! revolving loan fund to finance energy efficiency projects. Annual events, such as the Symposium on Sustainability, involve the entire campus, and some faculty and staff have formed green teams to coordinate sustainability initiatives in their departments.
Iowa State plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2050 and utilizes wind power on campus. Energy efficiency technologies have been installed in campus buildings, including energy management systems, lighting sensors, heat recovery systems, steam trap systems, and steam line insulation. To encourage the campus community to conserve energy, the university has completed energy audits, installed energy monitoring dashboard displays, and provides cash incentives for building energy reduction.
Dining services procures food from more than 40 local producers and processors, and purchases exclusively vegetarian-fed and hormone-free whole turkey, chicken quarters, and pork loin. Food waste is composted at almost all meals, and there are composting collection sites across campus. All landscaping waste is mulched or composted. The university coordinates an array of source reduction programs, including limited printing and an annual office clean-out called Green Your Scene.
Campus policy targets LEED Gold certification for all new construction and major renovations. There are two LEED-certified buildings on campus, and an additional seven buildings pursuing LEED certification. Iowa State diverts 75 percent of construction waste from landfills and has repurposed two unoccupied buildings for alternative use. The university employs many water conservation technologies, including dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets, leak detection technology, greywater systems, and rain gardens.
Residence leaders discuss campus sustainability initiatives during orientation, and the university also runs an eco-reps program. Various student groups on campus work on initiatives ranging from recycling to wetland conservation to alternative-fuel vehicles.
Iowa State's vehicle fleet includes 192 ethanol-fueled vehicles. The university operates a free shuttle system and subsidizes public bus passes for the campus community. All employees are eligible for telecommuting and condensed work week programs, and the university also offers ride-matching for faculty, staff, and students.
The Iowa State University Foundation makes a list of all holdings available to the public. This information is sent upon request.
The foundation aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, endowment investment in renewable energy funds. The foundation also considers environmental and sustainability criteria when selecting investment managers.
The foundation asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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