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Report Card 2009

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University of Wisconsin–Madison
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

  Compare with another school

B
University of Wisconsin–Madison

School details:

  Grade lower than last year

 

Endowment: $1,997 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Enrollment: 40,455

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  
B
In the university's 2005 master plan, "Protecting our Environment" is a planning principle and sustainability is considered a goal. The university employs an environmental management coordinator, a director of the energy conservation program, and several part-time staff. The Sustainability@Wisconsin website was recently launched.
The university has a goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent per square foot by the year 2010. Through energy-saving methods, the university has reduced carbon emissions annually by 28,000 tons. The We Conserve program gives students the opportunity to pledge their commitment to energy-saving goals. Solar panels power and heat the university's Arboretum Visitor Center.
The university spends approximately 10 percent of its annual food budget on local products, purchases milk and ice cream from the campus dairy, and offers several organic products. Dining services works to educate residents about alternatives to disposable to-go containers and, beginning in fall 2008, will receive weekly produce deliveries from a sustainable agriculture group on campus.
The Office of Facilities Planning and Management has a policy to design sustainable buildings and currently is developing a green mission statement. The state of Wisconsin is developing green building standards for all state facilities based on LEED standards. The university is designing four new construction projects that will seek LEED Silver certification, at a minimum.
Students play an integral role in the We Conserve program, among other sustainability initiatives on campus. There are several student organizations spearheading environmental sustainability. Students affiliated with transportation services provide education and outreach to inform their peers of transportation alternatives, specifically alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles.
More than 50 percent of faculty and staff and 90 percent of students use alternative modes of transportation. All faculty, staff, and students receive a free bus pass. The campus fleet includes electric and biodiesel vehicles, and the university supports a community car-sharing program, and a state carpool system.
Open records law requires that proxy voting records and a list of endowment holdings be available to the public. This information is accessible via the web.
The university aims to optimize investment return. Regent policy states, “For donors who place a high priority on socially responsible investing, use of special investment vehicles will be explored.”
A member of the university administration determines proxy votes based on guidelines. The UW System Trust Funds consider social responsibility criteria in voting shareholder proxy proposals and seek student and public comment.
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