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Report Card 2011

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Southern Oregon University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Southern Oregon University

School details:

Endowment: $14 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Ashland, Oregon


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


An application was submitted by Larry Blake to have this school evaluated in the College Sustainability Report Card 2011 .  A grant was awarded and a contribution was made to cover the cost of inclusion.  Learn more about how a school can apply for inclusion.


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 +
Southern Oregon University has two advisory committees focused on sustainability. The Sustainability Council is composed of subcommittees that focus on specific aspects of sustainability, such as dining services, energy, and education. The Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability serves as a center for sustainability initiatives, and is directed by one full-time staff member. A green purchasing policy requires the procurement of efficient appliances, electronics, and lighting, as well as environmentally friendly paper, office supplies, and cleaning products.
Southern Oregon has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 7 percent since 1990 and aims to achieve a 10 percent reduction by 2020. The school currently purchases offsets equivalent to 63 percent of emissions. There is a 56-kilowatt photovoltaic array on campus, and approximately 1 percent of campus energy comes from renewable sources. To decrease energy use, the university has implemented temperature setbacks and has installed steam trap systems and economizers.
Dining services purchases local fruit, vegetables, milk, and baked goods as well as sustainably harvested seafood. Fair trade coffee is served at some dining locations, and a discount on hot beverages is offered to students who bring their own reusable mugs. The university composts all preconsumer food scraps and recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
All new buildings and major renovations at Southern Oregon must achieve at least LEED Silver certification. The new Higher Education Center earned a Platinum LEED certification. The university has installed water and energy conservation technologies, including meters, lighting sensors, and low-flow toilets and showerheads.
New students are introduced to sustainability at orientation through resident assistant presentations on recycling, hands-on work in the garden and local environmental sites, and meals highlighting biodegradable products and local and organic ingredients. The university is home to two student groups that address environmental responsibility on campus and at the state level.
Southern Oregon discounts parking permits for students and employees who carpool to campus and provides ride-matching services for students. A new bike-sharing program makes ten bikes available to the school community for daily use at no cost, and a student organization on campus offers bicycle repair clinics on a weekly basis. The university partners with a car-sharing program, and 61 percent of students commute to campus via environmentally preferable means.
No evaluation was made of Endowment Transparency because the school's endowment size does not meet the minimum threshold of $16 million in assets.
No evaluation was made of Investment Priorities because the school's endowment size does not meet the minimum threshold of $16 million in assets.
No evaluation was made of Shareholder Engagement because the school's endowment size does not meet the minimum threshold of $16 million in assets.
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