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Report Card 2011

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Tulane University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Tulane University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $808 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: No


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 -
Tulane University's master plan includes a chapter on environmental issues, and the Climate Commitment Advisory Committee and the Office of Environmental Affairs work to improve the environmental performance of the university. Tulane requires the purchase of Energy Star products and green cleaning products, and paper towels, bathroom tissue, and napkins used on campus are 100 percent postconsumer recycled.
The university is currently developing a climate action plan and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent from 2006 levels. Tulane has implemented energy efficiency measures, such as temperature setbacks and energy management systems, and reaches out to students to promote the purchasing of energy-efficient appliances.
Tulane spends 10 percent of its food budget on local products and buys organic items, including produce, meat, and beverages. Some poultry and meats served on campus are hormone and antibiotic free, and a majority of seafood is purchased according to sustainability guidelines. Fair trade coffee is available in some locations, as well as fair trade teas and chocolate. Tulane encourages the use of reusable silverware, mugs, and containers, and the dining facilities are trayless.
All new construction and major renovations must achieve a LEED Silver rating. Dinwiddie Hall is expected to meet LEED Silver criteria, and the university is engaged in numerous renovation projects. Low-flow faucets and showerheads, as well as weather-informed irrigation systems, have been installed across campus to reduce water use.
The Wellness House is a residential program that encourages students to explore all aspects of a sustainable lifestyle and community. New students receive sustainability information at orientation. The school employs two paid interns and several unpaid interns, and an eco-reps program was piloted in 2009. The university has participated in RecycleMania, and student groups, such as the Tulane Green Club, advocate for environmental causes.
Tulane offers free shuttles around campus and to local destinations and also partners with a car-sharing program. A bike-sharing program began in 2010, and a student-run program offers free repair instruction. Half of the student body commutes to campus via alternative transportation methods.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is made available to the public on the school website.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is currently invested in community development loan funds. Tulane is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds.
The Tulane Endowment Fund Proxy Voting Committee, which includes three faculty and seven students, makes proxy voting recommendations to the Investment Management Office.
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