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Report Card 2007

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Duke University
College Sustainability Report Card 2007

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Duke University

School details:

Endowment: $4,500 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Durham, North Carolina


Campus Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
Duke University employs a sustainability coordinator and has groups that work on all different issues concerning sustainability, including construction, recycling, energy management, and purchasing. An extensive website lists the accomplishments of the University Greening Initiative and provides information on ways the Duke community can get involved.
Duke is one of the largest higher education purchaser of green power in the country, purchasing more than 54,000 megawatt-hours of green power annually. It supplies 31 percent of its needs through small hydro and wind power. Both the Engineering and Environment Schools run on 100 percent wind power. Duke’s green power purchasing was recognized with the Purchaser Award at the 2005 Southeast Green Energy Summit. The University's emissions were inventoried from 1990 to 2003 in order to establish a baseline and recommendations from a feasibility study are being implemented to reduce emissions. Finally, Facilities Management is currently developing a new energy policy for the University that will direct future campus development and set guidelines for curbing consumption.
Thanks to the Green Grant Fund, dining service was able to conduct an inventory of the environmental impacts of the University’s dining policies and implement environmental best practices. A quality assurance position within Duke Dining is responsible for helping to make the University a national leader in green dining. Many campus dining halls make an effort to purchase local, organic food whenever possible. The University has an excellent recycling program and currently collects 17 different types of recyclables, diverting over 1,250 tons of traditional recyclables and 5,000 tons of non-traditional recyclables from the landfill each year. Compost is donated to local farmers.
Duke University has had a green building policy since 1993 and strives to ensure that all new constructon and renovatons are LEED Certified, at a minimum. Every reasonable effort is made to achieve Silver or higher ratings. Duke currently has 16 LEED projects that are certified or registered for certification. In addition, the Energy Management Team retrofitted lights, steam traps, sensors and motors in 10 buildings with abnormally high energy and water usage. Based on the success of these retrofits, the Team has identified 46 additional individual projects to address energy management on campus.
The University makes neither its proxy voting record nor their list of endowment holdings public. This information is only available to trustees and senior administrators.
The University prioritizes investing to maximize profit and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds. In 2006, the University announced a $5 million investment in the Latino Community Credit Union based in Durham, NC. This investment is in addition to an initial investment of $400,000 which made Duke one of the Credit Union’s first and largest investors.
The University provides its investment managers with guidelines to determine proxy votes.
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