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Report Card 2008

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University of Southern California
College Sustainability Report Card 2008

  Compare with another school

C+
University of Southern California

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $3,100 million as of June 30, 2006

Location: Los Angeles, California

 

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  
C +
The University of Southern California has established a sustainability task force made up of 11 members from a wide range of departments on campus. The task force began meeting in January for the purpose of recommending a “general strategic planning element” concerning sustainability. The strongest institutional commitment to sustainability exists in academic and research programs. USC has not yet established a sustainability coordinator position.
USC employs a full-time director of energy services to manage energy programs, which include lighting retrofits, equipment upgrades, and a recent retrofit of chillers, cooling towers, and pumps throughout the university. During 2006, 7 percent of energy consumed by USC came from renewable sources, including biomass and waste, geothermal, and small hydroelectric power generation.
While local produce can be difficult to come by in metropolitan Los Angeles, USC is able to source some fruit locally. Dining services serves 1,800 meals a day on reusable dishware. Among the monthly averages of waste recycled primarily from food service operations are 1.04 tons of aluminum cans, 16.81 tons of cardboard, and 1.68 tons of glass and plastic.
USC is currently engaged in two projects that will be designed and built using LEED green building guidelines. It is expected that the projects will apply for LEED certification. The university actively incorporates energy saving and water conservation methods in new construction projects and building retrofits. Buildings have been retrofitted to include more efficient lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads in addition to Energy Star appliances. Features such as occupancy sensors and updated HVAC systems are commonplace in new projects on campus.
USC counts on the services of a full-time rideshare coordinator to ensure that transportation programs are available to all members of the university community. In 2006, USC achieved an Average Vehicle Ridership of 1.69, exceeding the target of 1.50 established by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The facilities management department’s fleet is made up of electric vehicles and hybrid cars.
Information on endowment holdings and proxy voting records is made available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
NA 
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds.
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