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Report Card 2011

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Southern Methodist University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Southern Methodist University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,149 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Dallas, Texas


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  
The SMU Sustainability Committee, a sustainability office, and several staff members work to address environmental issues on campus. The university requires the purchase of green products whenever possible. All paper towels and office paper used on campus are made from recycled materials, and all computers are EPEAT certified. An eco-reps program encourages sustainable behavior among staff members.
The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than 6 percent since 2005. Energy efficiency technologies, including economizers and high-efficiency motors, have been installed in many campus buildings. A demonstration photovoltaic array generates renewable energy, and SMU purchases some electricity from renewable sources.
SMU spends over one-third of its food budget on local products, sources some herbs and produce from an on-campus garden, and buys organic fruits and vegetables. All eggs are cage free, and all seafood is sustainably raised. The university also purchases some fair trade coffee and chocolate, offers incentives for using reusable dishware and mugs, recycles cooking oil for biodiesel production, and went trayless in 2009. The university recycles scrap metal and electronic waste, and furniture is collected for reuse.
The university aims to achieve LEED Silver certification for all new buildings. Currently, eight buildings are LEED Gold certified; three others are expected to achieve LEED Gold certification but are not certified at this time. Two buildings meet LEED-EB standards, but are not yet certified. Water conservation technologies, such as waterless urinals, metering, and greywater systems, have been installed around campus.
New students learn about sustainability through presentations and active engagement projects, and SMU employs one student sustainability intern and six eco-reps. Students participate in three contests with the goal of environmental awareness and waste reduction. Two student groups focus on social and environmental issues.
Twenty percent of students commute to campus using alternative methods of transportation. SMU offers free access to public transportation for all campus community members, operates a shuttle around campus and to local destinations, and provides preferable parking for electric and low-emissions vehicles. A bike-sharing program was started in 2008. Some vehicles in the campus motor fleet are electric.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community, and makes a list of asset allocation available to the general public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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