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Report Card 2011

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Yale University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Yale University

School details:

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Endowment: $16,327 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: New Haven, Connecticut


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  
Yale has three committees dedicated to sustainability, one of which is in the process of developing a comprehensive sustainability plan. The Office of Sustainability employs five full-time staff. Environmental stewardship is a core value of the university, and a formal green purchasing policy encourages procurement of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient products.
Yale has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 7 percent since 2005 and aims to achieve a 43 percent reduction by 2020. The university utilizes a cogeneration facility, energy management systems, and lighting sensors to reduce energy use, and the campus features solar hot water systems, geothermal wells for heating and cooling, solar panels, and wind turbines. The School of Forestry purchases renewable energy credits for its electricity use.
Dining services spends 43 percent of its food budget on local and organic products. Nearly all eggs served on campus are cage free; most meat is vegetarian fed and hormone and antibiotic free; and most seafood meets Marine Stewardship Council and Monterey Bay standards. The university recycles electronic items and has both move-out and year-round materials exchange initiatives to reduce waste.
The university mandates that all new construction meet LEED Gold standards. Fourteen buildings on campus are LEED certified and three others meet LEED criteria. To conserve water, the university has installed dual-flush toilets and greywater systems. Vegetated roofs and swales manage stormwater.
Numerous student groups are involved with the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, which recently organized a regional environmental conference, increased awareness of waste and energy reduction initiatives, and advocated for a ban on bottled water. The university employs 22 sustainability interns and 30 students in a residential environmental representative program. Yale Harvest offers a sustainable agriculture orientation to first-year students.
Yale offers a free shuttle service on and around campus and partners with a car-sharing program. A departmental bike-sharing service is also available. Carpoolers can purchase discounted parking permits, and 47 percent of employees commute to campus via environmentally preferable means.
Yale makes a list of all asset classes, except for external managers, available to the general public online. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is made available to trustees and senior administrators and is sent to other select individuals 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 and sustainability factors.
An advisory committee that includes students, faculty, staff, and alumni makes proxy voting recommendations on environmental and social resolutions. For corporate governance matters, the university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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