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Report Card 2010

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University of Alberta
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Alberta

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $639 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Enrollment: 33,414

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.


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Overall grade  
B +
The Sustainability Commitment and Guiding Principles direct the university’s approach to environmental issues. The Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to instill sustainability as a core value at the university. Four staff members are dedicated exclusively to sustainability and energy management, and five working groups implement campaigns, provide oversight, and develop sustainability policies.
The university made its first renewable energy purchase in 2009, buying 230,000 kilowatt-hours per year for two years. All on-site combustion for heating is derived from natural gas. The university is reducing its emissions through an ongoing energy management program, which includes heat recovery measures, lighting retrofits, ventilation system upgrades, variable speed drive installations, and building automation controls.
Dining services offers locally sourced meat, milk, flour, and produce. The university uses only biodegradable to-go containers and composts kitchen waste and postconsumer waste. In addition, a student group runs an organic garden. The campus has a comprehensive single-stream recycling program, including an on-campus processing facility.
LEED Silver certification or higher is required for all new construction, and five new buildings are currently pursuing LEED Silver certification at a minimum. Triffo Hall, which is Gold-certified, utilizes rainwater capture and storage for toilets, and has waterless urinals. Sustainability is a priority in all major retrofits and renovations that are currently in progress or planned for the near future.
Recent projects of the Environmental Coordination Office of Students (ECOS) have included reusable dish rental for student group events, and educational presentations to residents and student groups about living sustainably. The new-student orientation includes an alternative campus tour, which brings students to several key sites for campus environmental work. Campus Sustainability Coalition students have helped plan and implement Sustainability Awareness Week, a paper-reduction project, and university-wide deliberations on climate change.
In fall 2009, the university will begin participating in a commercial car-sharing program. Access to municipal public transportation is available at a 70 percent discount for students. Faculty and staff have free access to the light rail transit system between downtown and South Campus. A bicycle-sharing program offers 30 community bikes and free maintenance services to community members.
The university makes a list of all holdings available online to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is available only to trustees and senior administrators.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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