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Report Card 2011

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Boston University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Courtesy of Boston University

School details:

Endowment: $919 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Boston, Massachusetts


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
Boston University's strategic plan includes a commitment to environmental stewardship and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In addition to a full-time sustainability director, BU employs a dining services sustainability coordinator and a communication specialist specifically dedicated to sustainability initiatives. The Sustainability Steering Committee is actively working on many projects, including the development of a climate action plan.
BU has completed greenhouse gas emissions inventories retrospective to 2002. In addition to efficiency upgrades, BU encourages emissions reductions through audits of individual energy use and energy efficiency in new construction.
Dining services spends 29 percent of its budget on local foods. Fair trade coffee is served in all dining locations, and a 25 cent discount on coffee is offered for use of a reusable mug. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted; all dining halls are trayless; and, in addition to standard materials, the university recycles electronic waste.
BU's per capita water consumption has decreased 15 percent since 2005. New buildings over 50,000 square feet must meet LEED Certified standards. BU has repurposed four buildings for alternative use in the past ten years, and a broad range of energy management technologies have been implemented across campus.
Many student organizations at BU work on a range of sustainability-related projects and initiatives, such as the Energy Club, which is designing a clean energy curriculum. The Environmental Student Organization organizes panels, competitions, and other events on campus. Earth House, an intentional living community, houses 15 environmentally minded students. Three student internships in sustainability are offered during the academic year.
Boston University operates the BUS, which provides free transit between campuses. The university also runs a free, full-service bike repair facility on campus. An online ride-share service is available, and preferential parking is provided to carpoolers and individuals driving hybrid vehicles.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the school community. The university makes a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions available to trustees, senior administrators, and select members of the community. This information is available at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in community development loan funds and renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors. Donors of significant amounts can request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
A member of the university administration determines proxy votes.
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