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Report Card 2011

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Clemson University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Clemson University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $401 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Clemson, South Carolina


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  
B +
Clemson's strategic plan incorporates the goals of efficient resource use and environmental stewardship. A sustainability committee has established green energy and building policies as well as a procurement policy that calls for purchasing eco-friendly cleaning products and efficient lighting. The university buys exclusively postconsumer recycled paper.
The university has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2000 levels by 2020. Despite an increase in building space, Clemson has reduced energy consumption 6 percent since 2005. The campus utilizes cogeneration and steam trap systems and has implemented temperature setbacks. Nearly all buildings are equipped with steam line insulation and energy management systems, and the campus includes a solar hot water system.
Clemson's dining halls purchase food from 33 local sources and serve meat, dairy, and produce from the on-campus farm. Exclusively fair trade coffee is served on campus. Reusable bags and take-out containers are available in the dining halls; customers receive discounts for using reusable mugs; and two dining halls are trayless. Unwanted items are collected and donated during move-out.
All new buildings and major renovations must achieve LEED Silver certification, and there are 15 LEED-certified buildings on campus. Seventy-seven percent of construction waste is diverted from traditional disposal. The university has installed dual-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads, and the campus features green roofs and porous pavement to manage stormwater.
The members of Students for Environmental Action have worked to encourage professors to discuss climate change, improve recycling, help at the organic farm, host events and festivals to involve their peers in sustainability, and bring a group to a clean energy rally. Other student groups learn about green building principles, encourage the use of safe pesticides, and lead service projects.
Clemson offers incentives to carpoolers, including discounted and reserved parking. Student fees and government grants subsidize the local bus system, which provides free service around campus and to local destinations for the whole community. A bike-sharing program was launched in the fall of 2010, and main roads through campus are being closed to cars.
The Clemson University Foundation makes a list of all holdings, to the extent possible, available online to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is accessible online to the public.
The foundation aims to optimize investment returns within acceptable risk parameters. It has not invested the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds. The foundation uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The foundation is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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