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Report Card 2011

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University of Illinois
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Illinois

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,112 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Champaign, Illinois


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 Illinois has a formal sustainability policy and plan. Two sustainability committees work toward such goals as purchasing more than 30 percent of food from local sources, reducing water use 20 percent by 2015, and decreasing transportation emissions 30 percent by 2015. An office and a full-time coordinator oversee campus sustainability efforts.
U of I aims to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Several measures to decrease energy use have been implemented, including temperature setbacks, energy management systems, and chilled water, electric, and steam metering. Technologies such as economizers, heat recovery systems, and vending machine sensors have also been installed, and awareness campaigns and energy monitoring displays encourage conservation.
Dining services spends a quarter of its food budget on locally grown or processed items. The university purchases hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and yogurts, and almost all seafood is sustainably harvested. The campus serves exclusively fair trade coffee. To reduce waste, a quarter of meals are trayless, and used cooking oil is recycled for biodiesel production. The university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
The university requires that all new construction and major renovations meet LEED Gold standards. One campus building is LEED certified, and more than half of all construction and demolition waste is diverted from landfills. The university has installed dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets, showerheads, and urinals across campus. Water use has decreased 20 percent since 2005.
Student groups at U of I have worked on a variety of environmental initiatives, including developing sustainability curriculum, creating a student fund for environmental projects, creating new bike paths and bike racks, pushing for energy retrofits, helping with the student farm, encouraging green living in Greek houses, and installing green roofs. The university holds an annual electronic waste design competition.
Nearly 90 percent of the student body commutes to campus via environmentally preferable methods, as do a quarter of employees. Local public transportation is free for the campus community, and the school offers a free shuttle service on and around campus. A bike-sharing program, bike repair services, and a car-sharing program are also available.
The University of Illinois Foundation makes a list of all holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, available online to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community.
The foundation aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds. The foundation uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The foundation asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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