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Report Card 2011

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University of Washington
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Washington

School details:

Endowment: $1,800 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Seattle, Washington


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 sustainability office and three sustainability committees direct efforts on campus, including implementation of the climate action plan. Sustainability is also a component of the university's master and strategic plans. Projects are funded through both student and alumni green funds. Most appliances are Energy Star certified, and the campus aims to reduce paper consumption by 30 percent.
The university has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 36 percent from 2005 levels by 2035. Energy-saving technologies in all buildings include chilled-water and electric metering and high-efficiency lighting. The school runs a trade-in program for inefficient appliances. Renewable energy credits comprise 6 percent of UW's purchased electricity.
Forty percent of UW's food budget is spent on local items. Nearly all eggs are cage free, and 100 percent of milk is hormone free. All food waste in the dining halls and throughout campus is composted, and dining services diverts 63 percent of its waste from landfills. In addition to traditional materials, the university recycles construction debris, electronics, carpet, PVC plastics, and wood.
UW has 11 LEED-certified buildings. Almost all urinals are ultra-low-flow models, and the university uses laundry monitoring systems in all buildings, contributing to a 25 percent reduction in per capita water use since 2005. The Bothell campus uses vermicompost tea for fertilizer and controls weeds using goats, mechanical removal, and mulching.
Numerous student organizations are active on campus, including Students Expressing Environmental Dedication, which conducts comprehensive composting, recycling, and energy conservation awareness campaigns throughout the year. Forty students work as sustainability interns and eco-reps. New student orientation includes a zero-waste meal and environmental clean-up projects.
All campus community members participating in the U-PASS program receive unlimited public transit passes and discounts on carpool permits and the car-sharing program. Student government runs a nonprofit bike repair shop, and 88 percent of students and 62 percent of employees commute via environmentally preferable means.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees and senior administrators. A list of external managers, mutual funds, and equity, fixed income, and cash holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is available to the public. Information is made available 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, sustainability, and corporate governance factors.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes. Shareholder engagement also includes letter-writing campaigns and sponsorship of shareholder resolutions.
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