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Report Card 2009

Vanderbilt University
College Sustainability Report Card 2009

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C+

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Vanderbilt University

School details:

Endowment: $3,488 million as of June 30, 2007

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Enrollment: 11,294

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+
Vanderbilt University is in the process of developing an overall environmental policy and has several sustainability policies already in place for dining services and facilities. The university employs three full-time and several part-time sustainability staff. The environmental affairs committee oversees the environmental compliance and sustainability programs.
Vanderbilt launched a campaign to promote individual behaviors that lead to energy conservation, setting a goal of 15 percent reduction in energy use. Extensive building efficiency upgrades are underway across campus and at the medical center. Vanderbilt recently purchased blocks of green power for the first time.
The university sources food from 11 local producers, including a dairy, and plans regional and seasonal dining menus. Dining services uses compostable packaging materials and runs an education program to encourage the use of reusable containers. The university operates a standard recycling program and continues to run a pilot composting program proposed by a student group.
Vanderbilt has incorporated green strategies into several new construction projects, particularly renovations. The university's Commons Project comprises two LEED Silver and one LEED Gold-certified building. Five more buildings are projected to be completed and LEED-certified by the end of 2008.
Student groups have been the impetus behind many sustainability initiatives on campus. The university offers paid work-study and internship opportunities related to sustainability, recycling, and outdoor recreation. An Eco-Reps program has been initiated for fall 2008.
The university offers a "Free Ride to Work" program, discounted parking rates for carpoolers, and discounted fares for the commuter rail. Bike racks and shower facilities have been placed throughout campus for bicyclists. In cooperation with dining services and the medical center, the student-run Vanderbilt Biodiesel Initiative is converting used vegetable oil into biodiesel for use in campus vehicles.
The university makes its list of endowment holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators upon request. The university does not make its proxy voting record public.
The university has made a number of investments with fund managers that specifically target economic development, improvements in corporate governance, clean technology, and renewable sources of energy.
The university does not have the ability to vote proxies in most cases, as the majority of investments are in commingled fund vehicles. For investments that are separately managed, the university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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