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Report Card 2010

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Pennsylvania State University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

  Compare with another school

B
Pennsylvania State University

School details:

Endowment: $1,200 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: University Park, Pennsylvania

Enrollment: 44,112

Type: Public

 

Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)

 

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

 
Overall grade  
B
In April 2009, Penn State became the first major American university to sign the EPA's Sustainability Partnership Program. The university has three committees in addition to an Office of Environmental Stewardship and a Center for Sustainability to guide its sustainability initiatives. Penn State purchases as many Energy Star-certified products as possible, biorenewable cleaning products, and electronics that meet EPEAT standards.
Penn State completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and committed to reduce its emissions to 17.5 percent below 2006 levels by 2012. By 2008, the university had reduced its emissions to 8 percent below 2006 levels. Renewable sources generate 20.5 percent of the university's energy, including 8.1 percent from wind power. The university uses continuous commissioning and steam traps, and has performed lighting retrofits, system tune-ups, and chiller/chilled water upgrades.
The university has achieved a campus diversion rate of 53 percent, and 100 percent of landscaping waste is composted or mulched. Penn State composts over 681,000 pounds of food scraps annually through its Project Earth Grow program. The university's dining facilities will pilot a trayless dining program in spring 2010.
Penn State's green building policy requires that new construction meet LEED certification standards. Three campus buildings are LEED-certified, two buildings are awaiting certification, and one building has been LEED-EB-certified. The university has installed low-flow faucets, showerheads, toilets, and urinals, as well as higher efficiency washing machines.
Penn State's Earth House is a sustainability-themed residence with 153 students. The student group Sustainability Coalition facilitates communication between sustainability groups on campus, ranging from Engineers for a Sustainable World to Students Taking Action To Encourage Recycling (STATERS).
The campus fleet includes hybrid, electric, and compressed natural gas vehicles. The university also facilitates carpooling arrangements and offers a discounted public transportation pass for community members. Penn State's Bicycle Master Plan aims to support the development of a pedestrian- and biker-friendly campus.
The university makes a list of all holdings available at the investment office to the public per open records law. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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