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Report Card 2009

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University of Alabama
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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Courtesy of University of Alabama

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,000 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Enrollment: 20,929

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes

Dining Survey: Yes

Endowment Survey: No


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

Overall grade  
Although the administration has not formally committed to sustainability, the master plan includes several guidelines to ensure energy efficiency and responsible resource use on campus. The newly formed Environmental Committee will begin meeting during the 2008–2009 academic year to advise administration on sustainability issues.
The UA energy policy calls for the installation of efficient fluorescent fixtures and smart lighting systems whenever financially feasible. The university exclusively purchases Energy Star-rated appliances and uses life-cycle cost analysis for HVAC equipment. Expansion of the energy policy is under development.
The university has a campus-wide comprehensive recycling program. Dining services uses biodegradable to-go containers and offers discounts to patrons who bring a reusable beverage container. Fair trade coffee and other organic options are offered at various locations. Although dining services has a policy to purchase locally when available, less than 1 percent of its annual budget is spent on local foods.
While the university does not pursue LEED certification, the current master plan specifically acknowledges and adheres to LEED-compliant sustainable design principles, including the use of local and recycled materials and life-cycle analysis. The school uses adaptive reuse when possible and builds to ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
Student government has prepared the Green Guide to distribute to all students for fall 2008. Dining services works with the student group Homegrown Alabama to increase the use of local food in the university's dining halls. Alabama Organic, a student and faculty-led organic farming program, works with local farmers to educate the university community about sustainable food.
The Crimson Ride bus service operates four routes, free of charge, on weekdays year-round. Membership to the Bama Bike Program grants access to numerous community bicycles across campus. Per policy set forth in the master plan, major renovations were recently performed to convert the interior campus to a pedestrian-friendly area.
Per state law, all investment committee meetings are open to the public. Interested parties may receive prior notification of items to be considered. However, detailed information regarding endowment holdings or proxy voting records is not made publicly available.
The university aims to optimize investment return and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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