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Report Card 2008

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Duke University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Duke University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $5,900 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Durham, North Carolina


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


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

Overall grade  
B +
Duke senior administrators signed a comprehensive campus environmental policy in 2005 and President Brodhead has signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The university employs a sustainability coordinator and has groups that work on a variety of issues concerning sustainability, including construction, recycling, energy management, and purchasing. Efforts of sustainability staff include maintaining a comprehensive website as a clearinghouse for sustainability initiatives and producing a bimonthly electronic newsletter.
Duke is the fifth largest higher education purchaser of green power in the country, supplying 31 percent of its needs through small hydro and wind power. The facilities management department coordinates a campus energy management program. The university conducted a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory in 2004.
A graduate student conducted an inventory of the environmental impacts of Duke’s eateries. The university chef writes menus seasonally, and the main food service provider on campus purchased 16.5 percent of food locally this year. All campus eateries are required to purchase fair-trade coffee, recycled content napkins, as well as recycle and compost in their facilities. The university’s recycling program has a 33 percent diversion rate.
In 2003, Duke adopted the policy that all new buildings will be LEED-certified at a minimum, with every effort being made towards a Silver or higher rating. Duke currently has 17 LEED projects that are certified or registered for certification, and is in the planning stages of a 200-acre redevelopment of its Central Campus that will integrate ecological sustainability initiatives into all aspects of the project.
There are over 35 alternative-fuel vehicles in the campus fleet. The university operates over ten campus bus routes. In fall 2006, Duke Bike Advocates, a campus student group, with funding from Duke’s Green Grant Fund, initiated the first campus Bike Station.
Duke makes information on endowment holdings available on the school website with password protection. Information on its proxy voting record is available at the investment office or similar office on campus, but not made public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy and community development loan 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.
Duke provides its investment managers with guidelines to determine proxy votes.
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