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Report Card 2008

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University of Chicago
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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University of Chicago

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $6,100 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Chicago, Illinois


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: No


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

Overall grade  
C -
The University of Chicago has begun to address sustainability by integrating the Sustainability Council, created by students in 2004, into the administration. The university operates an environmental center to host four different undergraduate organizations pursuing sustainability initiatives.
The university has joined Clean Air Counts, a Chicago-based coalition of schools and businesses committed to reducing emissions by five tons per day. U-Chicago has fulfilled a portion of its energy needs by purchasing wind energy since 2004, and facilities services funded a new unit, the Department of Energy and Utilities Management, in 2006 in order to develop more sustainable approaches to both supply- and demand-side energy management. Various student initiatives, such as Battle of the Bulbs and the Uncommon Turbine Project, have focused campus attention on conservation.
Dining services currently purchases 11 percent of its products from local women/minority-owned businesses. Organic, fair-trade coffee is also available in the residence halls. Postconsumer food waste is composted at all residential dining locations. Facilities services operates several specialized recycling programs devoted to automotive batteries, motor oil, and other automobile-related fluids; fluorescent bulbs; waste paint; and other materials.
The university has two renovation projects in progress and one in the design phase for which it is seeking LEED certification. The university also reviews every major project to assess the possibility of energy- and water-use reduction, and waste minimization. U-Chicago is currently developing a policy for implementing green principles throughout the operations and maintenance of its physical plant.
The university has an agreement with the Chicago Transportation Authority under which it subsidizes six different bus routes in order to encourage use of public transportation. In addition, the university offers a 50 percent discount in the cost of parking to carpools of three or more people, and 70 carpool groups currently participate in the program. The university is currently working with a neighborhood organization to explore use of a bike fleet to meet intra-campus transportation needs.
The university has no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record. Therefore, there is no known ability to access this information.
The university aims to optimize investment return and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university has not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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