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Report Card 2007

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Vanderbilt University
College Sustainability Report Card 2007

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Vanderbilt University

School details:

Endowment: $2,900 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Nashville, Tennessee


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  
C -
The University has several sustainability-related policies and is currently developing an overall environmental policy framework to guide the university through the implementation of an Environmental Management System. Vanderbilt has a Sustainability Coordinator, who was one of two primary coordinators for the 2005 Conference on Environmental Sustainability and Compliance in Tennessee Higher Education. The University also has a Resource Conservation Advisory Committee and more than ten faculty and student groups devoted to advocating sustainability. Vanderbilt's administration is now engaging all on-campus stakeholders to form short-term and long-term goals that will move the university forward in this area in a thoughtful and systematic way.
An energy conservation educational campaign, particularly aimed at residence halls, is expected to launch in the next year. The Plant Services division in the Medical Center has a contracted energy efficiency expert who is designing and implementing other energy efficiency and conservation programs throughout the Center. While students proposed a Green Power Initiative in 2003, the outcome of that proposal is not known.
The University dining’s Eat the World, Save the Earth program offers local and organic foods along with a vegetarian entrée at every meal. It also emphasizes recyclable and reusable products. “Nectar at Vandy Barnard” is a new on-campus store that offers organic and vegetarian food options as well as environmentally-friendly products that can be purchased by students. A Dining Advisory Committee, comprised of university and dining staff as well as students, promotes these initiatives.
Vanderbilt has long included LEED-type principles in building designs but has not yet gone through the certification process. The first phase of the College Halls project, which will involve a number of residence halls as well as a dining center, is seeking LEED certification. A member of the University's staff is also a LEED-accredited architect and the University is using a number of LEED subcontractors to assist with applying for certification. Retrofits include energy efficient upgrades for all lighting bulbs and fixtures across campus.
The University does not maintain a record of its proxy voting and does not disclose its endowment holdings to anyone.
The University prioritizes investing to maximize profit and is also exploring renewable energy investment funds or similar investment vehicles.
Most of the fund is in commingled vehicles where the University does not have the right to vote. In cases where it does, that responsibility is delegated to investment managers.
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