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Report Card 2011

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University of Toronto
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Toronto

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,652 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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 Toronto is committed to sustainability through a formal plan and components of its master plan. Three committees, the sustainability office, and a several staff members address campus environmental issues. Green purchasing is encouraged whenever possible, and all desktop computers purchased for the campus are Energy Star certified. The school has an alumni green fund.
The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 23 percent from 1973 levels. Energy-efficient technologies on campus include a district energy system with cogeneration and flue gas heat recovery, and a large solar thermal array. Studies have been conducted regarding the implementation of photovoltaics and geothermal energy systems.
The school spends over half its food budget on local items and offers a wide variety of organic foods. U of T purchases some vegetarian-fed meat, some hormone- and antibiotic-free beef and dairy, and some seafood that meets sustainability guidelines. Food for a student-run restaurant comes from a campus garden, and fair trade coffee is available in all dining locations. The school offers promotions for use of reusable containers. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals.
All buildings must comply with the Toronto Green Development Standard. One campus building is LEED Gold certified and another is LEED Silver. Water consumption has been reduced through the installation of dual-flush toilets, efficient laundry machines, and leak detection on some equipment.
The Victoria Environmental House accommodates eco-minded students. New students are introduced to sustainability on campus through skits, presentations, and an open house. The school employs 33 paid student interns and eight volunteer interns, as well as numerous eco-reps. Student groups, such as the Sustainability Commission and Students Against Climate Change, actively promote campus sustainability initiatives.
The majority of the campus commutes using alternative transportation. U of T offers a discounted transit pass to all members of the campus community, and a free shuttle services local destinations. A bike-sharing program was started in 2007, and repairs are organized through a student-funded facility. U of T also partners with a car-sharing program. Some vehicles in the motor fleet are hybrid or run on natural gas.
The university makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, mutual funds, equity holdings, and fixed income holdings available to the public on the school website. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category is available to the general public upon request.
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 asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting. A committee that includes student representatives makes recommendations to the investment managers.
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