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Report Card 2011

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Southwestern University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Southwestern University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $242 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Georgetown, 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 +
Southwestern University is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and plan and through components of the master and strategic plans. One committee and several faculty members work to implement environmental initiatives on campus. The university has a formal green purchasing policy, regularly purchases Energy Star appliances and some environmentally friendly paper products, and trains custodians in the use of green cleaning products.
The school has achieved a reduction in building energy consumption since 2005. Technologies such as energy management systems, building metering, and lighting sensors have been installed across campus, and energy conservation is encouraged through programs such as awareness campaigns. Ninety percent of the campus electricity mix comes from wind power.
Southwestern buys local items, such as produce and baked goods, as well as organic items, including beverages and grains. Dining services purchases some cage-free eggs, vegetarian-fed chicken, hormone- and antibiotic-free milk, and sustainably harvested seafood. Fair trade coffee, chocolate, and tea are also purchased. Pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted at some meals; dining halls are trayless; cooking oil is recycled for biodiesel production; and compost bins have been placed in residence halls.
All new construction at Southwestern must be LEED certified. The Cullen Admission Center is LEED Gold certified, and one other building on campus meets LEED Gold standards. Sustainability is incorporated into operations and maintenance policies. Water conservation technologies, such as dual-flush toilets, have been installed across campus, and the school uses vegetated swales and retention ponds for stormwater management.
The Green Dorm is home to 100 students, and new students are introduced to sustainability at orientation through hands-on activities and presentations. The university employs three student sustainability interns, and students participate in one conservation competition annually. The student group SEAK promotes environmental activism on campus.
Southwestern is a residential campus and is accessible to pedestrians. A bike-sharing program was started in 2005. More than half of the vehicles in the campus motor fleet are electric.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees and senior administrators. The university does not make the shareholder voting record of its commingled funds public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds.
The university is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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