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Report Card 2011

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Lehigh University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Lehigh University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,115 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


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 -
Energy and Environment is one of the four challenge areas of Lehigh University's strategic plan. The Lehigh Environmental Advisory Group has overseen several lighting retrofits and has implemented single-stream recycling and a student green fund. A green purchasing policy encourages the procurement of Energy Star appliances, Green Seal cleaning products, and recycled paper.
Lehigh has achieved a 3.7 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2007. To reduce energy use, the university has implemented temperature setbacks and system tune-ups and has installed steam trap systems, lighting sensors, efficient lighting, and electric metering. The university has also performed individual energy audits.
The university spends 24 percent of its annual food budget on local products from 38 farms and producers. Lehigh also purchases organic produce, sustainably harvested salmon, and cage-free eggs. All student restaurants are trayless, and used cooking oil is recycled. Dining services diverts 70 percent of its waste from traditional disposal through composting and recycling, and the campus also composts all of its landscaping waste. The university sends 90 percent of its trash to a waste-to-energy plant.
One building on campus meets LEED criteria, and the STEPS building features a green roof. Lehigh has retrofitted many of its buildings with water-conserving technologies such as building water metering and low-flow showerheads and toilets.
Students at Lehigh can choose to live in an environmentally conscious community called Green House, and sustainability topics are presented in new student orientation materials. Lehigh will be starting an eco-reps program in fall 2010, and the Green Action student group is working with other students to institute a Battle of the Dorms energy reduction competition.
Lehigh has recently constructed new walkways and has removed several roads and a parking lot from the center of campus. The university operates three free shuttles between campuses, as well as shuttles to off-campus locations. A car-sharing program was launched in fall 2010.
Lehigh University makes a list of asset allocation and external managers available to the public at the investment office. A list of all holdings is only made available to trustees. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available to the school community at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is currently invested in community development loan funds and renewable energy funds. Lehigh uses managers that look to invest in a variety of areas, including renewable energy and clean technology.
Most of the endowment is invested in limited partnerships or other commingled investment vehicles. For separately managed accounts, the university's investment managers follow the recommendations of a third-party proxy service that is supportive of good governance and environmental stewardship.
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