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Report Card 2008

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University of Minnesota
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

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University of Minnesota

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $2,800 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota


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  
The University of Minnesota has adopted a sustainability and energy efficiency policy. A sustainable campus initiative coordinator was hired and a website outlines the initiatives being taken throughout the university system to tackle global warming.
In December 2004, the university became a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange. The university has reduced emissions by 29 percent from a baseline set in 1998–2001 and has reduced its energy use by more than 25 percent since 1994. Biomass, specifically oat hulls, makes up 7 percent of the total fuel burned at the university steam plant. Since 2004, the university’s energy management group has administered a building commissioning and recommissioning program to investigate building performance, note deficiencies and identify energy conservation opportunities.
Dining services has committed to serving locally grown and produced food, and currently sources about 18 percent locally. Food Dudes, student peer-to-peer marketing interns, are utilized to promote a sustainability platform across campus and to raise awareness of the programs in place to remove recyclable and biodegradable products from the waste stream. In spring 2007, all campus restaurants began a pilot program in composting.
The university is pursuing LEED certification on the new 50,000-seat TCF Bank Stadium. The university follows the state of Minnesota’s Sustainable Building Guidelines, which adapt the LEED building policy to specific regional issues, resulting in the equivalent of a LEED Silver rating. The university’s sustainability and energy efficiency policy requires sustainable design guidelines be applied to all major new construction and renovation projects.
The university employs a fleet of 30 hybrid vehicles, and another 75 vehicles that use E85 ethanol fuel. The U-Pass and Metro Pass programs offer students and faculty a low-cost, unlimited-ride transit pass that is good on every bus and rail route in the Twin Cities. The university also has innovative programs such as a low-cost bike helmet and light package, and Zipcar, a car-sharing program on campus.
The university makes information on endowment holdings publicly available in its quarterly report.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not currently invest in renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
The Social Concerns Committee annually reviews all shareholder resolutions concerning social issues for which the university holds stock and recommends votes for these resolutions. The Social Concerns Committee includes academic, alumni, civil service, faculty, and student representatives.
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