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Report Card 2009

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University of Minnesota
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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University of Minnesota

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Endowment Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $2,804 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Enrollment: 50,954

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 Bruininks signed the Presidents Climate Commitment. A vice president has been designated to oversee university sustainability efforts. The university is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, and the board of regents adopted a sustainability and environmental policy for campus in 2004. A broad-based committee oversees campus sustainability priorities.
The university’s power plant runs on biomass for approximately 5 percent of steam production. Solar panels for demonstration and research were installed on the College of Design. The university has upgraded its chiller plants on campus and purchased energy-saving laundry machines for residence halls.
As a charter member of the Heartland Food Network, the university purchases 18 percent of its food locally. Dining services also sources food from the campus's Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and UMN Cornercopia. Approximately 30 percent of the school's solid waste and 50 percent of its debris waste were recovered for recycling in 2007.
UMN's policy requires sustainable design guidelines to be applied to all new major construction and renovation projects. The university's 50,000-seat stadium, the Science Teaching and Student Services Building, and the New Bell Museum of Natural History are all seeking LEED certification.
UMN students have formed the Green Team to educate the campus community about organic composting, recycling, and sustainability efforts. The university has engaged students and the community through various educational events, including symposiums and lectures.
The Helmets and Headlights Program provides affordable bike safety accessories. UPASS and Metropass allow unlimited access to buses and trains at discount prices for students, faculty, and staff. The number of E85 vehicles increased to 75, and 53 hybrid vehicles are in the fleet. The university purchases B20 fuel made from waste oil and soybeans.
The university makes information available in its quarterly reports. Records are available, as applicable, through open records laws. Proxy voting records by the Social Concerns Committee are available online.
The university is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university-consolidated endowment invests in private funds that develop real estate and buildings to LEED certification requirements. Private equity mangers invest a portion of their funds in clean technologies and alternative energy companies.
The Social Concerns Committee annually reviews and recommends votes for shareholder resolutions concerning social issues for which the university holds stock. The committee includes academic, alumni, civil service faculty, and student representatives.
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