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Report Card 2010

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Mercer University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Courtesy of Mercer University

School details:

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Endowment: $148 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Macon, Georgia

Enrollment: 5,880

Type: Private


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: No


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
Mercer's Proclamation of Environmental Commitment emphasizes minimizing the university's environmental impact. The Environmental Issues Committee, composed of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, issues recommendations to help Mercer achieve climate neutrality. A formal green purchasing policy is being developed and will be adopted in fall 2009.
The physical plant works to reduce heating and cooling loads, and HVAC systems are regularly replaced with more efficient equipment. The university conducted a greenhouse gas inventory, and a conservation program designates building stewards who are responsible for checking lights, appliances, and thermostat settings.
Mercer composts preconsumer food scraps from one of two dining facilities and has designated specific days for dining halls to be trayless. Mercer recycles all electronic waste and diverts 20 to 30 percent of its overall waste to be recycled. Approximately 10 percent of organic plant material is composted on site.
In the long term, Mercer plans to have all new buildings on campus meet LEED standards. Two recently constructed buildings incorporate LEED standards, although neither is certified at this time. Mercer has renovated several buildings to incorporate energy-efficient features such as low-flow toilets and thermopane windows.
Students for Environmental Action has been active for over a decade on campus and within the Macon community, and students involved in the Eco-Reps program work to promote behavioral change in residence halls. The Environmental Law Society periodically hosts a river clean-up event.
Mercer subsidizes a free trolley service that runs from campus to downtown locations. The university has partnered with the City of Macon and a local nonprofit to subsidize new and rehabilitated housing close to campus for employees. In an effort to decrease vehicular traffic, Mercer offers a bike-sharing program that includes repair services.
The university makes a list of endowment holdings and votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level available only to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. This information is available at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
Where it is not invested in mutual funds, the university provides its investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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