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Report Card 2009

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University of Chicago
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Chicago

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $6,204 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Enrollment: 13,870

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  
C +
The University of Chicago has joined the Illinois Sustainable University Compact, which sets sustainability guidelines in the areas of product purchasing, renewable energy purchasing, green building, transportation, water conservation, and dining practices. A new position for Director of Sustainability has recently been created. The Sustainability Council has proposed a list of sustainability principles for the university to adopt.
The university has joined Clean Air Counts, a Chicago-based coalition of schools and businesses committed to reducing carbon emissions by five tons per day. The university purchases wind energy to power a portion of the residence halls. Various student initiatives, such as Battle of the Bulbs and the Uncommon Turbine Project, have focused campus attention on conservation.
Dining Services purchases 20 percent of its food from local suppliers and contracts with a local dairy. The university is currently changing its dining hall format so that all meals will be served on reusable dishware. The university also offers reusable cups, mugs, and shopping bags.
The university has one LEED-registered project and is seeking LEED certification for two projects in construction and one planned renovation project. The university reviews every major project to assess the possibility of energy- and water-use reduction, and waste minimization. Multiple projects have employed green building principles, including a new residence hall with a green roof and reflective roof.
There is an undergraduate student internship available on the Sustainability Council. The Environmental Center is home to six sustainability-related student groups, including the Green Campus Initiative, which runs the Battle of the Bulbs energy conservation competition.
The university subsidizes six public bus routes through an agreement with the Chicago Transportation Authority. University shuttles, ridesharing, and a carpool program are available. The carpool program has 113 groups participating and there are more than a dozen car-share vehicles on campus. Biking and walking to campus are also encouraged through guaranteed ride-home and occasional-parking programs.
The university makes neither its proxy voting record nor a list of endowment holdings public.
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.
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