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Report Card 2010

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University of South Carolina
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of South Carolina

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $425 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Enrollment: 23,114

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  
The university employs three full-time sustainability staff, and established an Office of Sustainability in 2008. The Environmental Advisory Committee addresses conservation, education, and outreach, with both the committee and director of sustainability reporting to the university president.
The university reduced its carbon emissions by over 4 percent between 2005 and 2007, and has several programs underway to increase energy efficiency on campus. The school also generates energy from on-site solar panels, a clean biomass facility, and two solar hot water systems. Conservation is a priority as well, encouraged through signage and various forms of student media.
The university has conducted a food waste audit and implemented trayless dining. Policies surrounding local, organic, and fair trade products are in place. More than 35 percent of milk is hormone-free. The dining manager is a member of the Environmental Advisory Committee and collaborates with the director of sustainability to increase local sourcing, resource conservation, and education initiatives.
Water conservation and energy efficiency technologies include waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and Energy Star appliances. One building on campus is certified LEED Silver, and all new construction and major renovations must meet this standard. Seven additional buildings are pending certification of Silver or higher.
The Green Learning Community involves 502 student residents, with eight Eco-Reps working across campus to increase sustainability awareness. Students run nine active environmental organizations, including a committee within the student government. Outside these organizations, students are organizing to compete in upcoming sustainability-themed competitions such as the Greek Eco Cup and the Housing EcoChallenge.
The university supports a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly campus through the master plan and the campus bike and pedestrian plan. The campus fleet includes 8 electric trucks and 33 vehicles that run on biodiesel.
The University of South Carolina Foundation makes a list of all holdings available online to the public and is adding a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level.
The foundation aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles, as well as on-campus sustainability projects. The foundation is also exploring the possibility of investment policy provisions that consider sustainability/environmental factors. The foundation also accommodates donors who want the option of directing gifts to an investment fund that considers environmental/sustainability factors.
The foundation provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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