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Report Card 2011

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University of Utah
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Utah

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $480 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah


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  
B +
The University of Utah has incorporated sustainability into its master plan, and the President's Sustainability Advisory Board supports efforts across campus. The university employs four full-time staff in the Office of Sustainability, and six other personnel devote a portion of their time to sustainability projects. Utah uses several mechanisms to finance campus sustainability, including a student green fee and a utilities efficiency fund.
The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3 percent since 2007. Temperature setbacks have been implemented, and the campus houses a cogeneration facility and solar arrays. The university purchases renewable energy credits to offset over 20 percent of total electricity use.
Dining services spends 16 percent of its food budget on local and organic items, and sources produce from the on-campus garden. Dining facilities serve exclusively cage-free eggs, hormone- and antibiotic-free milk, sustainably harvested seafood, and fair trade coffee. The university composts 40 percent of its preconsumer food waste in the campus garden and recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
The university mandates that all future construction achieve at least LEED Silver certification. Two buildings on campus are LEED certified and two others meet LEED criteria. The campus diverts 50 percent of its construction waste from landfills.
The Green Living Floor provides an environmentally friendly lifestyle for 25 students. The university employs 12 paid student sustainability interns and sponsors 10 unpaid positions. Numerous student groups promote sustainability on campus, and students engage in active water- and electricity-use reduction campaigns in residence halls.
The university provides preferential parking, ride-matching services, and vanpools to encourage carpooling. Indirect fees fund public transit passes for all students, faculty, and staff, and 45 percent of students commute to campus using environmentally preferable means. On-campus shuttles are equipped with mobile GPS trackers to coordinate service. The university sponsors free bike-sharing and repair services, and private vehicles are prohibited from the center of campus.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to the public at the investment office per open records law. The university does not make the shareholder voting record of its mutual funds 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. Donors can request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
The university is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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