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Report Card 2011

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Rochester Institute of Technology
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Rochester Institute of Technology

School details:

Endowment: $571 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Rochester, New York


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  
A full-time sustainability manager works with the Committee for Sustainable Practices and the Campus Environment Committee to oversee sustainability initiatives on campus. The institute is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and components of its master and strategic plans. RIT purchases environmentally preferable appliances, computers, and lighting.
In 2010, RIT completed its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The institute has implemented temperature setbacks and energy management systems in 95 percent of building space to control energy use. In January 2010, the institute signed a one-year contract to purchase renewable energy credits that represent 10 percent of campus electricity needs.
Rochester spends 34 percent of its annual food budget on local products, including vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat, and eggs. Seafood purchases are made with consideration for sustainable fishing standards. Preconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals, and in 2008, the institute’s largest dining facility went trayless.
All new buildings at RIT must be LEED Silver certified at a minimum. The campus currently includes one LEED Gold building, one LEED Platinum building, and five buildings that meet LEED criteria. New construction integrates screens that display real-time energy consumption, and energy-efficient lighting and lighting sensors have been installed in 90 percent of campus buildings.
The Student Environment Action League, one of five environmentally focused student groups at RIT, has worked to promote Take Back the Tap, a water conservation initiative. RIT employs two student sustainability interns each year, and resident assistants give presentations to new students about campus sustainability efforts.
RIT has worked with the local transit authority to create a new bus route designed specifically for the school community and subsidizes an additional eight trips to campus each day. The institute offers a free campus shuttle bus and is currently installing bike lanes around campus. Over two-thirds of off-campus students travel to campus via environmentally preferable means.
A list of all holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, is made available to trustees and senior administrators. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions by category is available to the general public. Information is sent to individuals upon request.
The institute aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. The institute also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors. Donors can request that gifts be directed into sustainable and socially responsible investment options.
The institute asks that its investment managers handle the details of corporate governance proxy voting, and provides general guidelines for voting on environmental and social resolutions.
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