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Report Card 2011

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University of Waterloo
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Waterloo

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $216 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Waterloo, 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  
C +
The University of Waterloo includes environmental stewardship as a guiding principle in the campus master plan, and the purchasing services department has implemented green procurement practices. The university reinvests the savings from energy efficiency improvements into additional projects. Only office paper and paper towels made from postconsumer recycled content are purchased for the campus.
A greenhouse gas emissions inventory is currently in progress, and the campus has achieved a 2 percent reduction in building energy consumption since 2005. All buildings are equipped with energy management systems, and high-efficiency lighting is being installed across campus. A student volunteer group has installed a 36-panel solar array on Federation Hall.
Dining services spends 36 percent of its food budget on local or organic items and sources produce from an on-campus garden. Some dining facilities are trayless, and excess food is donated to a food bank. The campus diverts one-third of its waste from landfills and recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
The university has achieved a 40 percent reduction in per capita water use since 2005 and has installed low-flow faucets and showerheads around campus. The Faculty of Environment office currently features a vertical wall of plants and shrubs that acts as a biofilter for surrounding air toxins.
A recent competition led to an 18 percent reduction in water use and a 4 percent reduction in electricity use for participating residence halls. The University of Waterloo Sustainability Project, a service of the university's student union, has advocated for the hiring of a full-time sustainability coordinator and for new construction to be LEED certified. Incoming students are given stainless steel water bottles during orientation.
All campus community members are offered discounted monthly bus passes for local transit, and the university runs shuttles around campus. The school's master plan proposes filling interior parking lots with buildings and relegating vehicles to the perimeter of campus. Additionally, 90 percent of students commute to campus via environmentally preferable transportation. The university operates a bike-sharing program, which includes a do-it-yourself repair shop.
The university makes a list of external managers, mutual funds, equity holdings, fixed incoming holdings, and hedge fund holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. A list of external managers is made available to the general public at the investment office.
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 provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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