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Report Card 2011

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Mercer University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Courtesy of Mercer University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $148 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Macon, Georgia


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  
C +
Mercer University is formally committed to sustainability through a policy and a component in the university's strategic plan. Two administrative committees implement sustainability initiatives on campus and have worked on projects including the creation of a green purchasing policy and the implementation of new recycling programs. The university regularly purchases Energy Star-qualified appliances and building products as well as EPEAT-certified computers.
Mercer has reduced building energy consumption since 2005 through the installation of technologies such as electric metering, energy-efficient lighting, and steam line insulation. The university purchases about 9 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
Dining services spends 19 percent of its food budget on local products and purchases organic produce as well as seafood that meets Monterey Bay Seafood Watch guidelines. Fair trade coffee is served in all dining locations. Discounts are given for using a mug, and students on a meal plan receive a free reusable to-go container at the beginning of every year. The university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials and runs a move-out waste reduction program to collect unwanted food, clothing, and furniture for donation.
In the next ten years, Mercer plans to have all new buildings on campus meet LEED standards. Two buildings on campus meet LEED criteria but are not currently certified. The university has repurposed seven buildings for alternative use, and low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed in 60 percent of campus building space.
Students for Environmental Action and the Environmental Law Society work on issues related to sustainability on campus and in the community. Three paid, and fifteen unpaid, eco-reps encourage sustainable living habits among their peers.
Mercer subsidizes a free trolley service that runs from campus to downtown locations and a housing subsidy program that encourages faculty and staff to live within walking distance of campus. The university also offers a bike-sharing program that includes repair services. More than half of the vehicles in the campus fleet are 100 percent electric.
The university makes a list of all holdings and votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level available at the investment office to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community.
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 is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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