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Report Card 2008

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Syracuse University
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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Syracuse University

School details:

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Endowment: $908 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Syracuse, New York


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 -
Chancellor Cantor has signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The university has several committees addressing campus sustainability issues, including the Energy Council, the Utility Committee, and the Building Sustainability Committee. Students spread awareness across campus through the University Sustainability Action Committee. The Division of Sustainability was created in July 2007 and supports seven full-time staff.
Syracuse purchases renewable energy (generated from small-hydro and wind energy) for 20 percent of its energy needs, or 22,000 megawatt-hours. All renewable energy is derived from local producers in New York State. A variety of efforts to increase energy efficiency have reduced the university’s energy usage by 15 to 20 percent.
Local foods served at Syracuse include turkey, dairy products, and a limited amount of produce. Organic offerings include fruit, cereal, and burgers. A partial switch to environmentally friendly PLA plastic to-go containers has been made, and a composting program is in the beginning stages. The university diverts approximately 250 tons of recyclables from landfills each year. A recycling program for electronic waste has recently been developed.
All new buildings, additions, and renovations totaling over $10 million must seek LEED certification. The university has targeted 16 buildings on campus that it is currently preparing for LEED-EB certification.
Out of 602 weekday bus trips entering campus, 577 are powered by clean natural gas. In addition, all students, staff, and faculty have access to free public transportation. There is no bicycle program.
Information about endowment holdings is available only to trustees and senior administrators; however, information about proxy voting records is provided annually to the Campus Sustainability Committee. No information is made available to the general public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The treasurer’s office subscribes to Social Issues Service, through Institutional Shareholder Services. The treasurer, along with the executive vice president and chief financial officer, makes decisions on proxy votes and communicates the decisions to the Campus Sustainability Committee.
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