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Report Card 2008

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Michigan State University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Michigan State University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,000 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: East Lansing, Michigan


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  
Michigan State University has identified environmental stewardship as one of the university’s Boldness by Design Initiatives. An environmental stewardship team will make recommendations on projects that will reduce the campus’s material and energy consumption. Numerous projects have been implemented based on research done by students, staff, and administrators.
The university joined the Chicago Climate Exchange in February 2007, committing to a 6 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2010. A commissioning team has been developed to identify buildings that would result in energy savings and reductions through recommissioning, retrocommissioning, or commissioning. Summer pilot projects have further defined additional reductions that could be made in HVAC running times.
A campus food systems committee works to incorporate more local and organic foods in the dining halls. Twenty Sparty Stores on campus offer exclusively fair-trade coffees. Drinking cups for athletic events are corn-based for biodegradable breakdown. An anaerobic digester research study is underway using food waste from the residence halls in anticipation of developing a permanent digester that would result in the use of methane as an alternative energy source.
Campus construction standards ensure that all renovations, additions, and new buildings meet LEED certification standards. A chemistry building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council, and a new football building and weight room meet LEED standards. Among other initiatives, a green roof was installed on the plant and soil sciences building.
MSU supports a pedestrian- and bike-friendly campus that includes wide sidewalks and bike paths. In 2006, the university opened MSU Bikes, which has leased more than 400 bikes to the campus community, offers weekly bike repair clinics, and provides professional bike repair services. All university-owned diesel trucks and farm equipment use biodiesel fuel and the vehicle fleet includes 17 hybrids. The bus system that operates on campus has invested in hybrid buses.
The university makes a list of its investment holdings available to the public on the Office of the Controller’s website. Proxy voting records are sent to individuals upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. MSU’s investment policy states, “Within the context of its fiduciary responsibilities, the Board will exhibit social conscience in the administration of the university’s investment portfolio.”
The university has not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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