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Report Card 2011

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Dalhousie University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Dalhousie University

School details:

Endowment: $330 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


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 President's Advisory Council on Sustainability passed the Sustainability Policy and Statement of Principles, formalizing the university's commitment to sustainability. The Office of Sustainability employs one full-time director and a full-time projects officer. The university is an Energy Star partner with the Canadian government.
The university will complete its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory in October 2010 and is committed to a 15 percent emissions reduction from 2008-2009 levels by 2013. Dalhousie has installed lighting sensors and energy-efficient lighting, conducts regular energy audits of individuals and buildings, and used to offer a trade-in program for inefficient appliances.
The university spends 34 percent of its annual food budget on local items, including vegetables, fruit, dairy, grains, meat, poultry, and eggs from 15 local farms through a distributor. All milk served on campus is hormone free, and all beef, chicken, and pork is vegetarian fed. Dalhousie donates excess food to a local homeless shelter, and food scraps are composted at all meals. Trayless dining has been implemented, and the university recycles standard materials as well as electronics.
All new structures will be built to provincial requirements for LEED standards, and the university currently has two candidate buildings for LEED Gold and Silver ratings, plus four additional green buildings. To manage campus water use, the university is installing more low-flow faucets and showerheads and does not irrigate the grounds.
Members of SustainDal give free fair trade coffee and tea to users of reusable mugs, hold events to raise environmental awareness, and are working on a bottled water ban. Students may live in Studley House, a sustainability-themed residence. Fifteen paid interns work on sustainability projects, and eco-reps encourage their peers to adopt green living habits. Dalhousie runs the annual Eco-Olympics to encourage green living practices.
At Dalhousie University, 89 percent of students and 66 percent of faculty and staff commute to campus via environmentally preferable methods. Ride-matching is available for the campus community, and preferable and discounted parking is provided to carpoolers. Students receive a discounted bus pass with the local transit system.
The university makes a list of external managers, as well as equity, fixed income, real estate, hedge fund, private equity, venture capital, natural resource, and cash holdings, available to trustees and senior administrators and is sent upon request. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is made available to senior administrators and other select members of the school community.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in some renewable energy funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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