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Report Card 2011

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University of Arizona
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Arizona

School details:

Endowment: $528 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Tucson, Arizona


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 University of Arizona is committed to sustainability through a formal policy as well as components of the master and strategic plans. The campus sustainability coordinator and two committees organize environmental initiatives on campus. The university purchases some Energy Star products and uses the staff newsletter to encourage sustainable behavioral change among departments.
The university aims to someday achieve carbon neutrality and conducts awareness campaigns to encourage members of the campus community to conserve energy. The University of Arizona generates renewable energy with solar panels that have been installed on campus buildings.
More than 10 percent of UA's food budget is devoted to local purchases. The university buys organic meat and legumes, as well as some cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef, and hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken. Some seafood is purchased according to sustainability guidelines, and fair trade coffee is available at some locations. The university offers discounts for the use of reusable mugs and recycles cooking oil for biodiesel production. Excess food is donated to a local food bank, and some electronics are recycled in addition to traditional materials.
All new construction projects must be built to at least LEED Silver standards. One building on campus is LEED Gold certified, and almost forty others meet LEED criteria. Arizona has implemented many technologies for stormwater management, including retention ponds, subsurface detention tanks, and stone swales.
More than 50 student interns and 25 eco-reps volunteer their time to advance sustainability initiatives at UA. Students participate in two annual competitions with the goal of energy conservation and waste reduction. Several groups, including Students for Sustainability and the UA Environmental Law Society, encourage environmental action.
The university offers ride-matching, preferable parking spots for carpoolers, and discounts on the local public transit system. UA also provides free transportation around campus on electric vehicles, runs a bike-sharing program, and partners with a car-sharing program. The campus is bike friendly, with over 11,000 bike parking spaces for campus community use. Half of the student body travels to campus via alternative transportation methods.
The university makes a list of all holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category, available at the investment office to the general public per open records law.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university is unable to vote proxies for holdings that are invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles. For direct investments, the university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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