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Report Card 2011

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McGill University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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McGill University

School details:

Endowment: $781 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Montreal, Quebec, 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.


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Overall grade  
B +
McGill's environmental policy has been in place since 2001, and a sustainability policy was approved in 2010. Two sustainability committees have addressed issues such as waste reduction and transportation and have funded numerous green initiatives on campus. The sustainability office employs three full-time staff, and the university regularly purchases Energy Star-qualified products and 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper.
The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 19 percent since 2003 and aims to decrease emissions from its Power House 30 percent by the end of 2010. Energy-saving technologies installed on campus include heat recovery systems, lighting sensors and retrofits, and variable speed drives. The university purchases over 97 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
Dining services spends 47 percent of its food budget on items purchased within 300 miles of campus, including produce from an on-campus farm. All animal products purchased are hormone and confinement free, as well as vegetarian fed. Sustainably harvested seafood products are also served. Fair trade coffee is available across campus, and students receive discounts for using reusable plates, mugs. The university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials and makes biofuel from used vegetable oil.
Both the university's master plan and its environmental policy include green building guidelines.The Lady Meredith House utilizes a geothermal exchange system and the Life Sciences building meets LEED Silver standards. Water conservation technologies installed on campus include low-flow faucets and showerheads and dual-flush toilets.
There are more than 20 sustainability-themed student organizations at McGill; CERES has worked to expand recycling facilities on the Macdonald campus; and Gorilla Composting operates an in-vessel composting system on the downtown campus. The EcoResidence, built primarily out of recycled materials, houses 100 students who are committed to sustainable living.
Nearly all students and employees commute to campus via environmentally preferable means. The university fleet includes two electric, one hybrid, and one biofuel vehicle. Free shuttles are available to the school community for transport between the downtown and MacDonald campuses. A bike loan program offers ten bikes for free rental.
The university makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, mutual funds, and cash available to the public online. As well a list of equity and fixed income holdings is made available to the public upon request, per open records laws. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is sent upon request to the public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university also sometimes uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
In certain cases, the university provides its investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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