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Report Card 2011

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Purdue University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Purdue University

School details:

Endowment: $1,732 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana


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 -
A full-time director and two additional staff members work in the sustainability office to coordinate environmental initiatives on campus. The university has included sustainability components in its master plan and strategic plan. The Sustainability Council Steering Committee is currently working on a sustainability implementation plan.
In 2007, the university completed its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory. A cogeneration plant generates electricity to meet more than half of the campus's needs, and Purdue has energy management systems in nearly all buildings. Energy-efficient lighting, economizers, heat recovery systems, and temperature setbacks are used to reduce energy use. The university has a small solar array and a solar thermal system for research and educational purposes.
The university spends nearly 20 percent of its annual budget on local products, including vegetables, fruit, and milk. Eight vegan meals are served each week, and fair trade coffee is available on campus. Most postconsumer food scraps are sent to a local anaerobic digester where waste methane is captured and used to generate electricity. To reduce waste, the university limits printing and runs a move-out collection as well as a year-round materials exchange program.
All new building proposals are reviewed and evaluated according to LEED criteria, and new construction projects over $10 million are expected to pursue at least LEED Silver certification. To decrease water use on campus, all buildings are individually metered, and low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed. Purdue utilizes living roofs, porous pavement, retention ponds, and vegetated swales to minimize stormwater runoff.
The student government’s director for green initiatives oversees and coordinates the more than eight active sustainability-related student organizations on campus. One group has organized free bike tune-ups on Earth Day as well as recycling at football games. The university participates in RecycleMania, and students compete in a biannual residence hall energy and water reduction competition.
Purdue facilitates a web-based ride-matching board for all students, faculty, and staff. Members of the school community can ride on local buses free of charge. The university's master plan dictates that the center of campus be closed to vehicular traffic.
With the exception of information exempt from public open records law by Indiana statute, a list of all holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is made available to the public and sent to individuals per a public records request.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
The university provides its custodian bank with guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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