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Report Card 2010

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Syracuse University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Syracuse University

School details:

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Endowment: $658 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Syracuse, New York

Enrollment: 16,822

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  
Syracuse University employs four full-time sustainability staff. The Campus Sustainability Committee, which reports to both the president and chancellor, works to implement sustainable workspace practices, transportation initiatives, energy conservation programs, and green IT practices. The committee has also established a worklife program that includes telecommuting and a compressed work week. The university purchases only Energy Star appliances and environmentally preferable paper products.
The Campus Sustainability Committee completed an emissions inventory and will release a climate action plan in fall 2009. Syracuse has introduced temperature setbacks and central heating and cooling systems. The university plans for the Syracuse Center of Excellence to be heated and cooled by a geothermal system. Syracuse also purchases 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources.
The university purchases local produce, dairy, and poultry, as well as fair trade coffee. Locally produced items include ice cream, yogurt, and sausage. Excess food is donated to a food bank and shelter. A theme dinner is held at the start of the fall semester that highlights local foods and businesses to introduce incoming students to the area and educate them on the types of products grown and produced in Central New York.
The university has a green building policy that mandates adherence to LEED standards. Five new buildings currently under construction will meet LEED criteria. All residential spaces have low-flow faucets and showerheads, and 25 percent of the campus contains low-flow urinals and toilets.
When freshmen arrive on campus, they receive information about sustainability and energy use, and residential advisers discuss these issues during floor meetings. The Sustainability Learning Community is a housing option on one floor of a residence hall. Once a year, all residence halls compete in a Saving Juice in the 'Cuse contest, which has resulted in an 11 percent reduction in electricity use.
Syracuse University has 6 hybrid and 12 electric vehicles in its campus fleet. Employees can save on permit costs by carpooling, and anyone with a university ID card can use public transportation for free within a certain area. A car-sharing program is available also, which includes one hybrid vehicle.
The university makes a list of all holdings available only to trustees and senior administrators. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is accessible online to the public.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
A member of the university administration determines proxy votes on environmental and social resolutions, and asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting on corporate governance matters.
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