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Report Card 2011

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Brandeis University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Brandeis University

School details:

Endowment: $559 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Waltham, 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  
Brandeis University is committed to sustainability through a formal plan and components of its campus master plan. Two committees and several staff members work to implement environmental programming. The university buys some Energy Star products and some environmentally preferable paper products. Programs such as departmental sustainability liaisons encourage behavioral change among faculty and staff.
The university has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent from 2008 levels by 2015. Energy conservation technologies such as energy management systems and steam turbines have been installed across campus. The university encourages energy conservation through programs such as individual energy audits and awareness campaigns. An on-campus photovoltaic array generates renewable energy.
Brandeis purchases local and organic food items and serves some cage-free eggs and hormone- and antibiotic-free milk. Fair trade coffee, tea, and bananas are available, and some seafood is sourced according to sustainability guidelines. The university encourages the use of reusable bags, mugs, and containers. Postconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals, and all dining facilities are trayless. Standard materials and electronics are recycled.
New construction must meet at least LEED Silver standards, and six campus buildings meet LEED Certified standards. Brandeis is working to comply with LEED standards for operations and maintenance, and water conservation technologies, such as efficient laundry machines and xeriscaping technology, have been installed across campus. A variety of techniques, including wetlands regrowth, are used for stormwater management.
New students are introduced to sustainability through programs such as skits and a zero-waste meal at orientation. Brandeis offers student sustainability internships and eco-rep positions, and students participate in annual energy conservation and waste reduction competitions. Numerous student groups, such as Students for Environmental Action and the Bike Club, work to implement sustainability programs and advocate for environmental causes.
Brandeis offers ride-matching services for carpoolers, and employees and graduate students can purchase discounted public transportation passes. A shuttle runs around campus and to local destinations. Both bike- and car-sharing programs are available. The center of campus is closed to vehicular traffic.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community, and makes only asset allocation information available to the public on the school website. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize its investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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