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Report Card 2011

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Michigan State University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Michigan State University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,047 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: East Lansing, Michigan


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 +
Michigan State's Campus Sustainability Working Group is one of three committees devoted to sustainability and recently implemented a new surplus recycling program and undertook a transportation study. The Office of Campus Sustainability employs three full-time staff, and the university regularly buys energy-efficient appliances and electronics as well as environmentally preferable paper products. The MSU Green Certification Program recognizes offices and living spaces that embrace sustainable practices.
MSU has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 7 percent since 2005 and is committed to a 15 percent reduction by 2015. The university operates a cogeneration facility, and numerous energy-saving measures have been implemented on campus, including HVAC system upgrades and energy management systems. A 10-kilowatt solar array on the MSU Pavilion provides renewable electricity for campus buildings.
Dining services directly sources approximately 12 percent of its food from 68 local farms and 30 local processors, and sources vegetables from the MSU Student Organic Farm. Sustainably harvested seafood and organic food products are purchased regularly, and only fair trade coffee is served on campus. Students receive a discount for using a reusable mug; excess food is donated to a local food bank; and used fryer oil is recycled for biodiesel production. In addition to traditional materials, the university collects electronics for recycling.
The university mandates that all new construction and renovation projects meet at least LEED Certified standards, and there are two LEED Silver-certified buildings on campus. Annual water consumption has decreased by over 377 million gallons since 2005 due to water-saving measures such as low-flow water fixtures, greywater systems, and waterless urinals. Retention ponds, porous pavement, and vegetated roofs help prevent stormwater runoff.
There are nine environmental student groups on campus. A residential community and curriculum program engages students interested in environmental stewardship. Students in the Environmental Steward Program work to promote green living habits, and ECO focuses on local and state environmental issues.
The university's fleet includes 5 electric vehicles, 20 hybrids, and 100 vehicles that run on E85 ethanol. Faculty and staff receive free bus passes for on-campus routes. A bike rental program offers more than 200 bikes and affordable repair services.
The university makes a list of all holdings available online to the general public per open records law. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions by category is also available to the public and sent upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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