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Report Card 2010

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University of Cincinnati
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Cincinnati

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $833 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Enrollment: 21,765

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 +
The President's Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainability is a steering committee composed of faculty, staff, and students. It has completed several projects, including reactivating a cogeneration plant using landfill gas, drafting a climate action plan, initiating a variety of energy reduction initiatives, and organizing an unwanted materials swap during move-in and move-out.
The university reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 2004 levels in 2008, and is on track to achieve a goal of at least 20 percent by 2012 with such projects as utility system upgrades, changing temperature set points, insulating steam valves, and replacing light fixtures. These and other projects have saved over $10 million.
The university purchases local produce, bread, dairy, and meat. Dining halls are entirely trayless, and they conduct an annual food waste audit. Student volunteers hand out recycling containers to tailgaters at football games in order to increase the volume of recycled materials. The Re*Use Market is a swap/donation program for students' unwanted items at the end of the year. Water filters have been installed on sinks to reduce the use of bottled water.
All new construction projects must meet or exceed LEED Silver standards, and there are four LEED-certified buildings on campus. The university has installed occupancy sensors for lights and HVAC, as well as low-flow faucets and showerheads in some buildings. Nearly all building ventilation systems are on timers, and all buildings are locally metered.
The Students for Ecological Design group has worked to improve the recycling program, started a farmers market on campus, sent volunteers to the UC urban farm, and sold reusable bags to students. One floor of a residence hall is dedicated to social and environmental justice issues. The university offers paid student jobs at the urban farm, the utility plant, and with planning and design.
There are reserved spots for carpoolers in all parking lots. The university provides subsidized public bus passes to faculty, students, and staff, and free shuttle buses travel throughout campus as well as to local destinations. A bike-sharing program is being initiated and the master plan has moved vehicles to the perimeter of campus and placed bike racks throughout campus.
The university makes asset allocation, a list of external managers and amounts of assets managed, and individual equity 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 accessible online to the public.
The university’s primary investment objective is growth in assets net spending, expenses and inflation. The endowment has a significant investment in neighborhood development loans. In general, endowment investment managers consider sustainability factors in their decision making.
The university delegates to its separate account investment managers the authority to vote proxies.
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