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Report Card 2010

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University of Virginia
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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University of Virginia

School details:

  Grade lower than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $3,960 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Enrollment: 20,000

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 -
Sustainability is an overarching concern of the university’s master plan and is also a component in the strategic plan. The President’s Committee on Sustainability drafted a carbon action plan, and six full-time staff are employed to further sustainability on campus. The university’s green purchasing policy prohibits the procurement of bottled water and mandates the purchase of Energy Star appliances, environmentally preferable paper, and green cleaning products.
The carbon action plan sets goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Clinical Office Building on campus is one of the largest buildings in Virginia using a geothermal cooling system. Building retrofits are underway for efficiency, and temperature set points have been established to conserve energy.
UVA has set a goal to increase its purchase of local and sustainably produced foods by 5 percent each year. All fish served on campus meets the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines, and at least ten vegan entrees are served in all dining locations each day. The university is piloting a reusable takeout container program at some of its dining facilities. The campus diverted 57 percent of recyclable waste from landfills in 2008.
The university's building policy requires that all new construction meet LEED standards, and there are currently 18 new construction or renovation projects anticipating LEED certification. The university has also reduced water use by collecting cooling tower condensate water for irrigation during periods of low rainfall.
The Hereford Residential College is a sustainability-themed dormitory that houses 200 students. Student volunteers serve as Conservation Advocates, publicizing sustainability campaigns on campus. The student council has an environmental sustainability committee, and there are multiple environmental clubs, as well as the student-run community garden. First-year students compete in the Dorm Energy Challenge to reduce electricity consumption.
The university fleet includes 74 biodiesel-fueled vehicles. Parking permits for carpoolers are discounted or free based on the size of the carpool. Students, staff, and faculty may use their university ID cards to ride public transportation for free. A car-sharing program will be introduced in fall 2009.
The university makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public. However, the University of Virginia Investment Management Company makes investment reports, financial statements, and tax returns readily accessible to the public on its website.
The university aims to optimize investment return and does not invest in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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