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Report Card 2011

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University of Cincinnati
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Cincinnati

School details:

Endowment: $925 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio


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 +
The University of Cincinnati's sustainability committees have worked to hire sustainability staff, create an endowment fund for sustainability projects, expand recycling to include cell phones, and promote local food, among other initiatives. All computers purchased for the campus are EPEAT certified.
The university aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2004 levels by 2014. A cogeneration facility and steam trap systems are utilized on campus, and all buildings feature monitoring-based commissioning systems, lighting retrofits, efficient HVAC systems, and steam line insulation, among many other energy-saving technologies. Landfill gas and biodiesel are produced on campus.
Cincinnati spends 10 percent of its food budget on local products, and fair trade coffee is available throughout campus. All dining halls are trayless, and the school conducts an annual food waste audit. More than 90 percent of recyclable waste is collected during move-in, and students may donate unwanted items through the Re*Use Market program.
All new construction projects meet LEED Silver standards, and six campus buildings are LEED certified. Since 2000, seven existing spaces have been repurposed for another use. Per capita water use has decreased 12 percent since 2005; all buildings feature water metering; and at least half of the campus uses weather-informed irrigation. The campus features porous pavement to reduce stormwater runoff.
Student groups have successfully campaigned to improve campus recycling, created a farmers market on campus, developed a bike-sharing program, held an energy-use reduction competition, and advocated for sustainable food practices, among other activities. New students are given reusable water bottles and bags and learn about green living through their resident assistants.
The local bus system is heavily subsidized for students and employees, and free shuttles operate around campus and to local destinations. Carpoolers receive preferable parking spaces and free bicycles for the day, and the bike-share program lends out bikes at no cost. Twenty-five percent of employees and 32 percent of commuting students use sustainable modes of transportation.
The university makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, mutual fund holdings, and separately held equity accounts available online to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is also accessible online.
The college aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is invested heavily in community development loan funds. In general, endowment investment managers consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university delegates the authority to vote proxies to its separate account investment managers.
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