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Report Card 2011

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Northeastern University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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A-
Northeastern University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $531 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

 

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  
A -
Northeastern University has multiple sustainability committees that have worked on a range of initiatives, including the recent completion of the campus climate action plan. Three full-time staff members in the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management oversee environmental initiatives on campus. The university regularly purchases Energy Star appliances, EPEAT-certified computer products, and environmentally preferable paper products.
NU has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Since 2005, emissions have decreased by 16 percent, and building energy consumption has fallen by 21 percent. Numerous energy-saving technologies have been installed, including 70,000 low-wattage T-8 fluorescent lamps, variable frequency drives, and HVAC system upgrades. NU also has a campus-wide energy management system and recently installed 19 high-efficiency hot water boilers and 13 new burners.
Dining services purchases organic and local foods as well as sustainably harvested and hormone- and antibiotic-free food products. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals, and discounts are offered for using resuable dishware. The Trash to Treasure move-in and move-out collection program recently raised over $3,000 for on-campus energy projects.
The university mandates that all major construction and renovation projects meet LEED Silver standards. International Village and Dockser Hall are LEED Gold certified, and the Curry Student Center is partially powered by a photovoltaic array. Annual water consumption has decreased by 10 percent since 2005 through campus-wide installation of water-saving technologies such as low-flow water fixtures and dual-flush toilets.
Winners of the biannual Do It In The Dark dorm competition, coordinated by the Husky Energy Action Team, reduced their energy use by 27 percent during the contest, based on an actual versus predicted consumption level for end users. The Food Advisory Committee and Northeastern Vegetarians United worked to include more sustainable food choices in dining halls and promote knowledge of vegetarian lifestyles.
Faculty and staff can purchase monthly transit passes with pretax dollars, and students are eligible for semester transit pass discounts along with discounts on regional trains. Ride-matching and preferable parking are available to carpoolers, and car-sharing and bike repair programs help decrease traffic on campus. Approximately one-third of the campus fleet runs on alternative fuel.
The university makes a list of asset allocation available online to the 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.
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The university is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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