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Report Card 2011

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University of San Francisco
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Courtesy of Universit of San Francisco

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $196 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: San Francisco, California


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  
A -
The University of San Francisco has a formal sustainability policy, and the university's sustainability committee, the Green Team, recently worked to eliminate bottled water in dining halls supported the entirely student-led effort to create a student green fee. Energy Star appliances, cleaning products, and lighting are purchased, and the university buys paper made from 100 percent postconsumer recycled content.
Since 2008, the university has achieved an 8 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce energy use, USF operates a cogeneration facility, has implemented temperature setbacks, and has installed energy management systems in nearly half of campus buildings. The university also uses LED lighting, lighting sensors, and energy-efficient lighting. Three solar hot water systems and a 500-kilowatt photovoltaic array generate renewable energy on campus.
The university spends 13 percent of its annual food budget on local items. USF purchases exclusively cage-free eggs, as well as vegetarian-fed and confinement- and hormone-free turkey, hormone- and antibiotic-free dairy products, and fair trade coffee. All seafood purchases meet sustainable fisheries guidelines, and all dining facilities compost pre- and postconsumer food waste.
All new buildings must meet at least LEED Gold criteria, and the university currently has four buildings that were built to LEED Certified standards. Since 2000, USF has repurposed five existing building spaces for alternative use. The university meters each building individually for water use and has installed low-flow faucets and showerheads as well as ultra low-flow toilets. Vegetated roofs and porous pavement prevent stormwater runoff on campus.
Students may choose to live in the Garden Project Living-Learning Community, a hallway focused on learning about and working in the university's organic gardens. Incoming students are introduced to sustainability at orientation, and USF offers two paid sustainability internships to students each year.
More than 60 percent of the vehicles in the university fleet are electric. Faculty who carpool are provided free, preferred parking. Students are provided with free transit passes, and a bike-sharing program is being launched in fall 2010. Thirty-two percent of employees at USF commute via environmentally preferable methods, and the center of campus is closed to vehicular traffic.
A list of all endowment holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is made available to all members of the school community. This information is sent upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university provides its investment managers with specific guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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