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Report Card 2011

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Santa Clara University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Santa Clara University

School details:

Endowment: $619 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Santa Clara, California


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  
Santa Clara University's sustainability policy emphasizes environmental stewardship, education, and service. The director of the sustainability office works with the sustainability council to implement and oversee campus sustainability initiatives. All office paper used on campus is made from 30 percent postconsumer recycled content, and all computers are EPEAT Gold certified.
Santa Clara has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 1997 levels by the end of 2010 and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by the end of 2015. The campus features a total of 1.05 megawatts of photovoltaic arrays, as well as solar thermal hot water heaters. Santa Clara purchases renewable energy credits that represent 96 percent of the school's electricity needs.
Santa Clara spends 30 percent of its food budget on local products. The university purchases exclusively cage-free eggs and sustainably harvested seafood, as well as hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, milk, chicken, and turkey breast. To reduce waste, food scraps are composted at all meals, and the university provides reusable to-go containers. All residence halls feature composting receptacles, and electronics are collected for recycling in addition to traditional materials.
All new construction and major renovations are expected to meet LEED standards. The campus currently includes four buildings that meet LEED criteria. Low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed, and the campus has transitioned to 100 percent waterless urinals. Santa Clara uses vegetated roofs, porous pavement, and vegetated swales for stormwater management.
Santa Clara is home to 17 student groups focused on environmental issues ranging from clean water in Honduras to sustainable business. Living Green in the Neighborhood, one of the three conservation competitions that the university participates in each year, saw its winners reduce energy consumption by 47 percent during the contest.
The university offers a 25 percent discount on public transit tickets to staff and faculty and offers free parking to those who carpool. A shuttle provides university students access to areas surrounding campus. The campus fleet includes 28 electric vehicles and 10 gasoline-electric hybrids.
A list of all holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, is made 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 the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. Santa Clara is exploring endowment investment in on-campus sustainability projects and community development loan funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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