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Report Card 2009

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University of Cincinnati
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Cincinnati

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,099 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Enrollment: 27,178

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  
B -
President Zimpher signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. The university has a sustainability mission statement and is in the process of creating a campus action plan for sustainability efforts. The President’s Advisory Council on Environment & Sustainability is coordinating the sustainability initiatives.
The university began a project to build a combined-cycle electricity plant in 2001. Energy efficiency measures, such as temperature set point changes and chiller/boiler optimization, have been completed. The board of trustees has set aside $8 million for energy improvements in the central plant and an additional $10 million that will be used to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings.
The university, which employs a food broker who sources locally grown produce from 10 to 15 different regional farms, spends approximately 12 percent of its annual food budget on local items. There is a trayless dining program to reduce waste and the university is looking into implementing a program to sell reusable to-go containers.
All new construction projects must meet LEED Silver standards, at a minimum. Four LEED-certified projects have been completed and three additional projects are in the early stages of review. The university is in the process of formulating sustainability guidelines for smaller renovations and is also planning a new round of energy savings projects.
This year's freshman orientation will include sessions entitled “Being a Global Citizen in a Sustainable World.” There are multiple sustainability-related jobs available to students. The university sent a group of students to the Solar Decathlon. A student group, Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection, holds an annual recycling competition.
The Bearcat Transportation System serves as transit for the university community, and the Cincinnati Metro is also free to all UC students, faculty, and staff. Priority parking is made available for carpools.
Information on endowment holdings is made available to the school community on the university website, and is also available to the public per open records laws. The university does not make proxy voting records available.
The primary investment objective is real growth in assets net of spending and expenses. The endowment has a significant investment in neighborhood development loans. In general, endowment investment managers consider sustainability factors in their decision making.
The university delegates to its separate account investment managers the authority to vote proxies. It does not have the power to vote proxies for its commingled investments.
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