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Report Card 2011

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Carnegie Mellon University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Carnegie Mellon University

School details:

Endowment: $814 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Pittsburgh, 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  
Carnegie Mellon's Green Practices Committee is working on a variety of initiatives and recently expanded the student eco-reps program and established Green Teams in departments to encourage employees to reduce their environmental impact. The university is committed to sustainability through a formal mission statement and a component of the campus master plan.
Among many efforts to reduce energy use, Carnegie Mellon utilizes digital controls for nearly all HVAC systems and has installed steam line insulation and lighting retrofits in 98 percent of buildings, as well as vending machine sensors in 80 percent of buildings. The university purchases 75 percent of its electricity from wind power.
The university's dining vendors spend 32 percent of their food budgets locally. Preconsumer food scraps are composted at 65 percent of meals, and 90 percent of meals are trayless. Two dorms have compost bins outside. To reduce waste, double-sided printing is the default setting on campus printers; cardboard is collected for recycling during move-in; and unwanted items are donated at the end of the year.
The university aims to construct all new buildings to LEED Silver standards. There are currently 10 LEED buildings on campus, and two new buildings are expected to receive LEED Platinum certification. To reduce water use, efficient washing machines have been installed in all buildings, 80 percent of showerheads are low-flow, half of buildings have water metering systems, and the student garden is irrigated with rainwater.
Student groups have worked to eliminate bottled water from the campus, organize a zero-waste luncheon, establish an on-campus garden, and create a for-credit course called "Environment Today." Students interested in sustainability can live in the Neville Co-Op or the Green Connections hallway. There are 30 volunteer eco-reps who raise environmental awareness in their house communities.
Students, staff, and faculty are provided with free passes for the public bus system, and a free shuttle services off-campus destinations. Carpoolers receive reduced parking rates and pre-validated parking tickets for days when they need to bring their own cars. The university also partners with a car-sharing program.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. Information about asset allocation and cash holdings is available to the public on the school website. The university does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds. The university uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
External investment managers vote proxies for any securities directly held by the university, as well as on all separately managed accounts.
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