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Report Card 2011

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Rice University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

  Compare with another school

B+
Rice University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $3,600 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Houston, Texas

 

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 +
Rice University has a sustainability office, staffed by a full-time director, and adopted a sustainability policy in 2004. The university purchases some Energy Star appliances as well as paper products made from postconsumer recycled content. A student-managed green fee provides funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 8 percent since 2005. Rice operates a cogeneration facility, and an energy management system is used to track the progress of energy efficiency initiatives and to provide building-specific energy consumption information online. Energy efficiency technologies installed on campus include heat recovery systems, lighting sensors, and energy-efficient lighting.
The university spends 30 percent of its food budget on local products. Most beef and chicken served on campus is vegetarian fed, and 95 percent of milk and 75 percent of beef is hormone and antibiotic free. Ninety percent of seafood conforms to sustainable fisheries guidelines. All dining halls are trayless.
New construction at Rice must meet at least LEED Silver standards. The university has two LEED Silver and two LEED Gold buildings, with six more in the certification process. Five other buildings on campus were built to LEED standards. Rice has reduced water consumption by metering water use and installing dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and waterless urinals. The university uses living roofs and porous pavement to manage stormwater.
The sustainability office employs 11 eco-reps during the school year. Rice participates in 3 environmental competitions and has 11 active environmental student organizations, including the Environmental Club and the Rice Student Green Building Initiative. Student groups also began a green dorm initiative to encourage peers to reduce utility consumption and waste, and to “live green.”
More than 60 percent of students and 25 percent of employees at Rice commute via environmentally preferable methods. Students are provided with free local transit passes, and Rice operates a campus shuttle. Over 60 percent of the vehicles in the university fleet are electric.
The university makes a list of external managers and mutual funds, as well as equity, fixed income, real estate, private equity, venture capital, natural resource, and cash holdings, available to trustees, and a list of external managers and mutual funds is available to senior administrators. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available to trustees and senior administrators.
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 Committee on Investor Responsibility, which includes students, faculty, and administrators, makes proxy voting recommendations to the Rice Management Company.
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