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Report Card 2009

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Michigan State University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Michigan State University

School details:

Endowment: $1,282 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: East Lansing, Michigan

Enrollment: 44,836

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  
MSU has a campus-wide environmental stewardship program led by the assistant VP for finance and operations. MSU joined the Chicago Climate Exchange, has a sustainability office with two full-time staff, and an advisory committee consisting of students, faculty, and staff.
MSU has increased energy efficiency on campus with lighting retrofits, a cogeneration plant, and reduced HVAC run times. Environmental stewardship on campus is promoted by the "Be Spartan Green" conservation campaign. A 10-kilowatt solar panel powers the lighting for a student activities building.
MSU Food Stores is currently engaging in a farm-to-college program that focuses on local growers and farmers who use sustainable practices. Currently the program supports approximately 15 local producers. The new Surplus Store and Recycling Center will support an expanded recycling and reuse program.
As part of the university's Rebuild Michigan project, major renovation projects are required to comply with LEED standards. The new Surplus Store and Recycling Center, Secchia Center, and Kellogg Pasture-Based Dairy facility projects will seek LEED certification. The Kellogg facility would be the first LEED-certified agricultural facility in the world.
In 2008, the university supported a coalition of students to attend the first Power Shift conference, focused on teaching leadership skills for students to address climate change. Environmental stewardship has been incorporated into the academic orientation program and new-student engagement sessions.
There are multiple hybrid and biodiesel vehicles in the university fleet. The campus offers a shuttle system and has a program to educate the university community on alternatives to driving. The MSU Bike Project offers bike loans and bike service workshops.
The university makes a list endowment holdings available primarily to the school community, but also to the public through its website. The university makes its shareholder voting record available to the public by request, as per open records laws.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds. MSU’s Common Investment Fund has a 10 percent allocation to inflation hedge assets, a portion of which is invested in renewable energy projects. MSU’s investment policy states, “Within the context of its fiduciary responsibilities, the Board will exhibit social conscience in the administration of the University’s investment portfolio."
MSU’s investment policy states that only investment managers “shall vote all proxies in a manner most likely to preserve or enhance the value of the underlying investments and normally to support management on routine matters.”
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