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Report Card 2011

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University of Alabama–Birmingham
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Courtesy of University of Alabama-Birmingham

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $450 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Birmingham, Alabama


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

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 University of Alabama–Birmingham's master plan calls for the creation of new green space and pedestrian walkways, and the construction of a light rail system. The Energy Management Task Force has supervised efficiency upgrades and green building construction, and recently set up a campus recycling facility to divert paper, plastic, and aluminum from traditional disposal.
The university is in the process of completing its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Numerous energy efficiency technologies have been installed, such as energy management systems, system tune-ups, and steam line insulation, and temperature setbacks have also been implemented. The university uses rooftop solar panels to charge electric vehicles on campus, and purchases more than 13 percent of its energy from hydropower sources.
The university purchases some local produce and serves fair trade coffee and tea. A discount is offered to customers who bring their own reusable mug to dining facilities. UAB recently set up a recycling program for aluminum, cardboard, glass, paper, and some plastics.
There are four buildings on UAB's campus that meet LEED certification criteria. The university has installed building water metering and weather-informed irrigation throughout campus, and has also converted a road that runs through campus into a grass common area. A green roof is located atop the Hulsey Center.
Students may live in a sustainability-themed community called GreenLight, and the university employs two paid interns to work on sustainability initiatives. The Green Initiative student group organizes recycling events and festivals to raise environmental awareness.
The university is developing bike paths along the major campus arteries, administers a bike-sharing program with 10 bikes, and partners with CommuteSmart to provide carpool matching and other incentives. A car-sharing program is being offered for the first time starting fall 2010.
The University of Alabama System makes a list of all holdings available to the public per open records law. It also makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, and mutual funds available to the public, and sends the information upon request. The university system does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds and commingled funds public.
The system aims to optimize investment returns and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The system also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The system is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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