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Report Card 2011

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University of St. Thomas
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of St. Thomas

School details:

Endowment: $557 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota


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  
C +
The University of St. Thomas is committed to sustainability through a climate action plan and a component in the strategic plan. Two administrative committees meet monthly to address sustainability issues. The university purchases some green products when possible. Many appliances and electronics meet Energy Star guidelines, and all computers meet EPEAT standards. A revolving loan fund was established in August 2010 to finance sustainability projects.
The university aims to reduce emissions more than 20 percent by 2035. Energy efficiency technologies, including economizers and energy management systems, are utilized in campus buildings. St. Thomas has installed solar panels on a residence hall, and 19 percent of energy is purchased from renewable sources, including wind power.
The university devotes 80 percent of its food budget to local purchases and also serves organic produce. All milk served on campus is hormone and antibiotic free, and fair trade coffee is available in all locations. Postconsumer food scraps are composted and sent to a local farmer. St. Thomas has begun to go trayless, and the school recycles traditional materials as well as a large variety of used electronics and supplies.
St. Thomas has an 80 to 90 percent diversion rate for nonhazardous construction and demolition waste. The university uses green cleaning products whenever possible and purchases some sustainably designed furniture from a LEED-certified source for offices and campus buildings. Low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed in 95 percent of campus buildings. Irrigation for three-quarters of the campus comes directly from the school's supply and not from city sources.
New students learn about sustainability through presentations in their residence halls. The university offers four paid sustainability internships to students. Student groups on campus include the Green Team, which promotes environmental events and actions on campus, and the Bicycle Enthusiasts at St. Thomas (BEAST), which is building bike culture on campus and in the broader community.
Over 15 percent of the campus community commutes via alternative transportation, and St. Thomas offers preferable parking to carpools. Discounted public transit passes are available to students and staff, and the university operates a shuttle between its two campuses and neighboring schools. A bike-sharing program began in 2008, and a student group provides repairs and services free of charge. St. Thomas also recently partnered with a car-sharing program.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to the general public at the investment office. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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