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Report Card 2011

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Bucknell University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Bucknell University

School details:

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Endowment: $501 million as of December 31, 2009

Location: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania


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  
The Campus Greening Council at Bucknell University recently finished a climate action plan. The university employs a full-time director for the Campus Greening Initiative and regularly purchases Energy Star-qualified appliances and environmentally preferable paper products. Alumni and others can contribute to a new revolving loan fund that helps finance on-campus sustainability projects.
Bucknell has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent since 1998 through the installation of a cogeneration power plant. The university aims to decrease emissions an additional 10 percent by 2015, including the purchase of offsets for air travel. Bucknell purchases 10 percent of its energy in the form of renewable energy credits, and two photovoltaic arrays on campus generate renewable energy.
Dining services spends approximately 37 percent of its food budget on local products. Organic food items, fair trade coffee and chocolate, cage-free eggs, vegetarian-fed meat, hormone- and antibiotic-free milk, and sustainably harvested seafood are also purchased. Students receive a discount for using a reusable mug. Electronics are recycled in addition to traditional materials.
The university mandates that all new major construction projects meet LEED specifications. All laundry machines on campus have been replaced with water-saving models, and low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed in approximately 35 percent of campus building space. The university also uses weather-informed irrigation. A green roof and retention ponds are utilized to manage stormwater.
Students run the Taylor House, an environmentally themed residence. The Bucknell Environment Club coordinates a waste-reduction and awareness-raising initiative. Ten paid student interns work on sustainability projects, and six paid recycling monitors help reduce waste in residence halls.
The campus fleet includes two hybrid vehicles. Ride-matching and bike rental programs help reduce traffic on campus, and the university is currently developing a car-sharing program.
Information about all holdings is made available to trustees and senior administrators. The university publishes semiannual reports that include only asset allocation information on their website, which is available to the public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. The university uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors, and donors may request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible endowment funds.
The university is unable to vote proxies for the portion of the endowment that is invested in commingled funds. For the remainder, the university provides specific guidelines to its investment managers on corporate governance resolutions and asks that its managers handle the details of proxy voting for environmental and social resolutions.
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