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Report Card 2010

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University of Tennessee–Knoxville
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Tennessee–Knoxville

School details:

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Endowment: $887 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Enrollment: 23,704

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


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

Overall grade  
UT Knoxville adopted a formal sustainability policy in 2004 and has incorporated sustainability into its campus master plan. The Committee on the Campus Environment has addressed key sustainability concerns, including energy efficiency and the incorporation of environmental education into the curriculum. The university has a sustainability office staffed by a full-time sustainability manager.
UT Knoxville completed an emissions inventory and reduced its emissions by more than 2 percent between 2005 and 2008. The university is committed to becoming climate neutral and offsets 2.5 percent of its electricity use through renewable energy credits. A Switch Your Thinking campaign promotes energy conservation and has resulted in a 2,400-metric-ton reduction in emissions annually. Approximately 493 kilowatts of solar and wind power are generated on campus each year.
Dining services buys hormone-free milk from a local dairy. The school also offers fair trade and organic coffee. In order to reduce waste, trayless dining has been implemented and coffee grounds from two campus locations are composted. UT Knoxville recycles 50 tons of electronics per year with an overall campus waste diversion rate of 12.6 percent.
The university created a green building policy in fall 2007, requiring all new construction and renovation projects costing over $5 million to meet LEED standards. A new computer engineering facility will have drought-resistant landscaping and low-flow toilets and urinals. Water-saving laundry machines and low-flow showerheads have been installed in all residence hall bathrooms.
New students learn about green initiatives on campus during orientation, and there are four student environmental organizations. Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville has addressed issues, including mountaintop removal, coal mining, and renewable energy. There is also a Make Orange Green POWER Challenge during which 7,000 student residents compete to conserve electricity and water, and increase recycling. This contest saved the university $16,000 in electricity costs in 2009.
UT Knoxville has 5 hybrid, 16 electric, and 156 flex-fuel vehicles in its campus fleet. The university subsidizes 77 percent of the cost of public transportation for students, faculty, and staff, and freshmen are given a first-semester bus pass for free. The university also has 30 bicycles available through a rental program, and is working to move parking to the perimeter of campus while expanding bike and walking paths.
The UT Foundation makes a list of endowment holdings available to the public by request, as per open record law. This information is available at the investment office. Proxy voting records are sent to individuals upon request.
The foundation aims to optimize investment return and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles.
The foundation asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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