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Report Card 2007

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University of Minnesota
College Sustainability Report Card 2007

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University of Minnesota

School details:

Endowment: $2,200 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota


Campus Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: No


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

Overall grade  
B -
University programs support both the academic and operating enterprises and include on-site wind power, local and sustainably grown food in the dining halls, and membership in the Chicago Climate Exchange. A Sustainable Campus Initiative Coordinator was hired, a website outlines the initiatives being taken throughout the University system to tackle global warming, and the provost established an advisory group to make recommendations for a world-class Institute on the Environment.
In December 2004, the University became a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange and committed to a 4 percent reduction below 1998-2001 baseline emissions by 2006. A nearby wind farm supplies 60 percent of the Morris campus's needs. The Twin Cities campus has reduced consumption by 27 percent since 1991, despite the addition of energy-intensive research buildings. A steam plant burns waste wood and leftover oat hulls in its Circulating Fluidized Bed boiler, which cleanly burns almost any material. Finally, the utilities department interacts closely with academics on campus in evaluating the feasibility of projects involving renewable energy and energy efficiency, such as a solar array, the manufacture of hydrogen, and the utilization of methane gas from animal waste.
The utilization of local products is a priority for university dining services, which works with Food Alliance Midwest to connect with local, rural farmers that use environmentally sustainable practices. Sysco, Aramark’s primary distributor, is working with local farmers and cooperatives to source locally grown products. In addition, many organic products are sold across campus. Dining services participates in a campus recycling program and now recycles frying oil to be converted into diesel fuel.
The University follows the State of Minnesota's Sustainable Building Guidelines, which adapt the LEED building policy to specific regional issues relevant to green building and are mandatory for all new construction projects that are financed with state funds, resulting in the equivalent of LEED Silver rating. The University's Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Policy, adopted in July 2004, requires sustainable design guidelines to be applied to all major new construction and renovation projects, regardless of funding source. LEED certification is being pursued for two buildings on the Duluth Campus and certification for other projects is under consideration.
The University has made no public statements about making endowment holdings or shareholder voting records available. Therefore, there is no known ability to access this information.
The University prioritizes investing to maximize profit and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The Social Concerns Committee has been charged by the Board of Regents to annually review all shareholder resolutions concerning social issues for which the University holds stock and to recommend votes for these resolutions. The Social Concerns Committee includes academic, alumni, civil service,faculty, and student representatives.
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