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Report Card 2011

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University of Kansas–Lawrence
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Kansas–Lawrence

School details:

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Endowment: $955 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Lawrence, Kansas


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 chancellor at the University of Kansas announced the inception of a sustainability planning process as part of 2010 Earth Day festivities. The Center for Sustainability currently works to raise awareness and facilitate projects on campus. The university purchases exclusively Energy Star-certified computers and recycled napkins and tissues. A green office certification program was launched in fall 2010.
The university has implemented numerous energy conservation measures, including temperature setbacks, steam trap system upgrades, and energy-efficient lighting. KU recently entered into an energy performance contract that includes a behavioral component projected to save $200,000 annually. The university purchases 1 percent of its energy from renewable sources and offset 2 percent of last year's energy use with renewable energy credits.
Dining services uses flowers, herbs, and produce from an on-campus roof garden and recently established a Farm to Cart program to sell local produce. Hormone- and antibiotic-free milk and fair trade coffee are served on campus. All dining locations are trayless, and used cooking oil is recycled for biofuel research. The campus also mulches or composts 95 percent of its landscaping waste.
New construction must exceed ASHRAE standards by 30 percent. The university converted a barn built for coal storage into an office and meeting space on campus. Efficient laundry machines, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and weather-informed irrigation have been installed throughout campus. One of the university's green roofs tops the football facility.
The university employs two sustainability interns, and students can choose to live in an environmentally conscious cooperative house. The student environmental advisory board oversees a student green fee. Students also helped create a revolving loan fund with contributions from the student senate.
Campus members can ride the KU on Wheels buses and Lawrence public transit for free. A self-service bike repair shop on campus offers the basic tools for bike maintenance. Traffic control booths prohibit most vehicular traffic from entering the campus when classes are in session.
The University of Kansas Endowment Association makes a list of asset allocation and external managers, as well as mutual fund, real estate, private equity, natural resource, and cash holdings, available online to the public. The association does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds and commingled funds public.
The association aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in on-campus sustainability projects and renewable energy funds. The association also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors, and donors can request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
The association is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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