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Report Card 2009

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McGill University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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McGill University

School details:

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Endowment: $863 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Enrollment: 33,522

Type: Public


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  
McGill University is a signatory to the Talloires and Halifax Declarations. The university has had an environmental policy since 2001 and is currently crafting a sustainability policy and a five-year sustainable development plan. The university employs two full-time sustainability staff, and is creating a sustainability office in fall 2008.
Over the past 10 years, McGill has invested more than $18 million on energy infrastructure, including energy-efficient chillers, steam traps, and other upgrades. Over 97 percent of McGill's electricity comes from renewable hydroelectric and wind power. In 2008, the university submitted an energy management plan to the province, stating a goal of 14 percent reduction in energy consumption from 2003 levels by 2010.
The university sources meats, cheese, and baked goods from 14 local producers and, during growing season, 90 percent of produce is locally grown. The university runs a comprehensive recycling program and also conserves by issuing course materials, invoices, and other information in electronic format.
Both the university's environmental principles and the planning and design principles of the physical master plan include commitments to green building practices. The Bellini Life Sciences Building is awaiting LEED Silver certification, and recent renovation projects have incorporated sustainable design concepts.
Students are members of key groups that drive sustainability initiatives. Sustainability information is distributed to new students; two student coordinators organize inter-dorm competitions and other awareness activities; and the university has approximately 20 student environmental groups that work on a range of projects.
The McGill community predominately uses alternative means of transport, including commuting by foot, bicycle, public transit, and shared transit. The current master plan includes sustainability goals and continued initiatives for alternative transportation.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings available to the public by request, as per open records laws. Requests for this information must be made through the office of the university's secretary-general. The university does not make a shareholder voting record publicly accessible; this information is available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting for its non-North American, publicly traded holdings, while the university's treasury department determines proxy votes for North American, publicly-traded holdings.
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