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Report Card 2011

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Washington State University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Washington State University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $620 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Pullman, 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  
B +
The university has implemented a formal sustainability policy and a climate action plan. The Sustainability and the Environment Committee has addressed issues including sustainable transportation, energy and water efficiency, local foods, and greenhouse gas emissions. Comprehensive guidelines for procurement and operations encourage the purchase of environmentally preferable products. WSU purchases 100 percent recycled copy paper and energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
WSU has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 36 percent from 2005 levels by 2035. To save energy, the university has set back building temperatures; installed energy management systems, energy-efficient lighting, and electric and steam metering in the majority of buildings; and insulated all steam lines. Power management settings allow computers to save energy when not in use.
Dining services spends 14 percent of its food budget on local items. Produce and herbs for the dining halls are grown in an on-campus garden. Exclusively fair-trade coffee is served on campus. To reduce dining waste, WSU offers biodegradable take-out containers, provides incentives to customers who bring reusable mugs, and composts food scraps. The university also reduces campus waste by hosting a move-out donation program and reusing surplus property.
WSU strives to adhere to LEED Silver standards for major construction projects. There is one LEED Silver-certified building on campus and two more buildings that meet Silver standards. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used on campus. To conserve water, WSU utilizes building water metering, weather-informed irrigation, and drought-resistant plants.
The Environmental Task Force, one of many campus sustainability groups, is working on implementing a student green fee, and has raised awareness about sustainable food issues, distributed reusable water bottles, hosted environmental speakers and movie screenings, replaced Styrofoam dishes with paper plates, and organized semiannual book recycling programs. Orientation counselors promote sustainability to new students. Student environmental representatives in residence halls help plan the annual One Thing Competition.
The university offers free transportation around campus and to local destinations for all students, faculty, and staff. Campus community members can coordinate carpools through an online ride-sharing network. A free bike-sharing program offers long-term rentals as well as short-term borrowing stations around campus. The vehicle fleet includes 18 hybrid cars.
The Washington State University Foundation makes a list of all holdings available online to the public. The foundation does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The foundation aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds.
The university is unable to vote proxies because the endowment is entirely invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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