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Report Card 2009

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Duke University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Duke University

School details:

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $5,910 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Enrollment: 12,770

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: Yes


Data compiled from independent research and survey responses from schools. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methodology  section.

Overall grade  
B +
President Brodhead signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. Duke is in the process of developing a climate action plan with a goal of climate neutrality. The Duke Green Grant Fund, which offers $50,000 annually, sponsors student, faculty, and staff projects that yield a more sustainable campus. Eight full-time employees work on sustainability issues.
Duke is currently working on the GreenTouch screen project to develop a real-time, web-based, feedback system in the campus's engineering building. The project will allow students, faculty, and staff to analyze the resource consumption of the building. Duke is exploring options for large-scale campus solar projects.
Duke conducted an inventory of the environmental impact of the university’s dining facilities in order to implement environmental best practices. Dining services spends over one-third of their annual budget on local food, and campus eateries are evaluated annually on sustainability efforts. Duke Recycles conducts “Garbology” events during which recycling staff sort a building’s daily trash to raise awareness about materials that can be recycled.
Since 2003, all new construction and renovation at Duke has met high-performance building standards. As of June 2008, 20 buildings have received LEED certification or are in the process of being certified. Duke recently completed construction on the first LEED Platinum residence hall in the world, the Smart Home.
The Students for Sustainable Living Program is a 15-member student corps that works to engage and educate the campus community about environmental impacts. Students run the annual Eco-Olympics, in which dorms compete to reduce energy, waste, and water.
In addition to numerous alternative fuel vehicles and a comprehensive bus system, Duke is launching a carpool program that offers incentives to staff, faculty, and students, including free, convenient parking. Duke has also implemented a web- and map-based ride-matching program.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community on a password-protected website. This university's proxy voting record is available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. Several of Duke's managers invest in renewable energy, green buildings, and/or carbon credits.
The President’s Special Committee on Investment Responsibility and the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility (ACIR) advise the president and board of trustees on investment issues. The ACIR includes two students, two faculty, and one alumnus.
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