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Report Card 2011

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University of Alberta
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Alberta

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $727 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


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.


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Overall grade  
The University of Alberta is committed to sustainability through a formal policy, and three administrative committees focus on institutional sustainability, along with a full-time director of the Office of Sustainability and eight other staff. An energy management fund provides loans for energy efficiency projects on campus.
Between 1990 and 2009, the university reduced energy intensity by 14.8 percent. U of A meters all buildings individually for steam, chilled water, and electricity usage and has an energy management program for conducting energy audits. To manage electricity use, the university has installed energy-efficient lighting and upgraded HVAC systems. Greenhouse gas emissions inventories are also near completion.
The university purchases vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat, and poultry from two local farms directly and four others through local distributors. All dairy products used in the dining halls are hormone free, and fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate are also purchased. Discounts are given for the use of both reusable mugs and containers, and U of A composts postconsumer food waste at 50 percent of meals.
All new buildings must meet at least LEED Silver standards, and five new buildings are currently pursuing LEED Silver certification. Triffo Hall, which is LEED Gold certified, utilizes rainwater capture and storage for toilets, and features waterless urinals. Since 2000, the university has repurposed 89,900 square feet of existing building space for alternative use.
The university is home to 12 environmentally focused student groups working on issues ranging from organic gardening to sustainable business to energy conservation. The Environmental Coordination Office of Students worked to create a paid summer position for a student to audit sustainability efforts within the student union, and the Office of Sustainability also employs student interns.
The university promotes a ride-matching service to staff and students who carpool. Municipal public transportation for students is discounted by 70 percent, and free passes to the light rail transit system are provided for facility and staff. A bike-sharing program offers 35 bikes to members of the school community, and the university also hosts a car-sharing program.
The university makes a list of external managers, mutual funds, equity holdings, fixed income holdings, real estate holdings, venture capital holdings, and cash, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on company-specific level, including the number of shares, available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. A list of external managers and mutual funds is available to the general public. This information is available at the investment office.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in community development loan funds.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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