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Report Card 2007

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Harvard University
College Sustainability Report Card 2007

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Harvard University

School details:

Endowment: $28,900 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts


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  
A -
Harvard University has one of the most comprehensive campus sustainability programs in the country. The Harvard Green Campus Initiative has a staff of 16 full-time professionals and 40 part time student employees; a high performance building service for both new and existing buildings; a range of effective behavioral change programs that have produced substantial energy savings in residential dorms and laboratories; large purchases of renewable energy; on-campus solar panels; four geothermal projects; biodiesel in all campus shuttles; green cleaning in custodial services; a committed dining services policy that has resulted in a 57 percent reduction in waste thanks to aggressive recycling; and a recycling rate of over 45 percent.
The University began a Greenhouse Gas Inventory starting in 2001, and is among the top ten largest university purchasers of renewable energy credits in the country, accounting for seven percent of energy use. A $12 million Green Campus Loan Fund is available for sustainability initiatives and projects. To date, more than $7 million has been invested in 110 projects. Projects average a simple payback of three years and a return on investment of 33 percent. Environmental savings include over 66.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions reductions, 12.7 million gallons of water, and 200,000 pounds of solid waste per year.
Dining services offers seasonal menus to utilize the local growing seasons, and dining halls also buy food through Newman's Own Organics, as well as other organic food suppliers. A recent recycling initiative resulted in the reduction of trash volume by 57 percent in the dining halls.
While the University has adopted its own green building policy, five of its campus buildings have achieved LEED certification, and 14 other projects are seeking LEED certification. Lighting retrofits in 26 of its buildings have reduced energy use significantly.
Detailed proxy voting records are available to the public upon request. Information on endowment holdings, however, is only available to the board and senior administrators.
Harvard does not release information about specific investment holdings. However, in 1999 Harvard announced a $20 million investment in local community development loan funds and community development financial institutions focused on making low-interest loans to support affordable housing in Boston and Cambridge.
Harvard's Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility includes four students, four faculty, and four alumni members. The committee deliberates on and makes more than 150 voting recommendations each year on a wide range of environmental, sustainability, and social shareholder proposals. The Harvard Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility makes the final decision on voting shareholder proposals and in recent years has agreed with the Advisory Committee on more than 75 percent of its recommendations. The Harvard Management Company is responsible for voting shareholder proposals that address corporate governance issues.
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