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Report Card 2009

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The Administration category primarily addresses action regarding sustainability by colleges and universities at the administrative or trustee level. This includes policies or commitments to sustainability in the institution’s mission statement or master plan, and also commitments to local, national, or international sustainability agreements. Points are awarded to schools that have institutionalized the position of sustainability coordinator; those that have an active advisory council to guide the administration on campus sustainability; and those that have an office or center specifically focused on achieving campus sustainability goals. Green purchasing policies are also examined. Additionally, schools receive points for having a website that serves as a resource for community involvement and education on sustainability.


Key Findings

  • More than half of the schools have full-time staff dedicated to sustainability. A considerable number of schools have recognized the need for full-time campus sustainability administrators. Currently, 56 percent report having dedicated sustainability staff.


  • Nearly one in four schools have a sustainability office. An office or center specifically focused on achieving campus sustainability goals exists at 23 percent of schools.


  • More than three in five schools have a website dedicated to campus sustainability. A number of schools (61 percent) use a website to communicate, both to the campus community and to the public, about sustainability initiatives.


  • Four in five schools have a campus advisory committee on sustainability. A large majority of schools (80 percent) have a committee with multiple stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, students) that advises the administration on issues of campus sustainability.


  • Over half of schools have made a carbon reduction commitment. Increased attention to climate change is reflected in an impressive 52 percent of schools that have made a commitment to carbon reduction. Forty-two percent of all schools have signed the Presidents Climate Commitment, while 20 percent made carbon reduction commitments in addition to or instead of the Presidents Climate Commitment.


  • Green purchasing has become a priority at a majority of schools. A total of 61 percent of schools have some form of a green purchasing policy. Of these schools, 46 percent have a single-area green purchasing policy (e.g., buying Energy Star appliances), while 15 percent have a more robust policy that spans across many different types of purchasing areas.


  • More than three in five schools are members of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). More than 62 percent of the schools are among the approximately 435 members of AASHE.


  • The average grade for the Administration category was “C+.” For a summary of grade distribution for this category, please refer to the chart on the right. 




Grade Distribution


More than half of the schools have full-time staff dedicated to sustainability.
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