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Report Card 2011

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University of Maryland–College Park
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Maryland–College Park

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

 

Endowment: $348 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: College Park, Maryland

 

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  
A -
The University of Maryland is formally committed to sustainability through the campus master plan and strategic plan. The University Sustainability Council recently approved new environmentally preferable procurement, lighting, and building policies. The sustainability office employs two full-time staff. The university regularly purchases energy-efficient appliances and electronics as well as environmentally friendly paper products.
Since 2005, the university has decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent. To reduce energy consumption, temperature setbacks have been implemented across campus, and the UMD power plant uses cogeneration. A new 20-panel solar hot water system heats one-third of the water used in a dining hall on campus, and the Cole Field House features a 5.25-kilowatt solar array.
Dining services sources from 12 local farms and spends approximately 10 percent of its food budget on locally processed items. Organic vegetables, fair trade coffee, cage-free eggs, and hormone-free milk are also purchased. Students receive discounts for using reusable mugs, and electronics are recycled in addition to traditional materials. To reduce waste, the university runs the Trash to Treasure move-out donation drive and Terrapin Trader materials exchange program.
The university mandates that all new construction and major renovations meet LEED Silver standards at a minimum. There are three LEED Gold buildings on campus, and the combined heat and power plant is Energy Star labeled. Annual water consumption has decreased by over 31 million gallons through the installation of technologies such as low-flow water fixtures and dual-flush toilets. Three underwater rain cisterns allow for non-potable water use.
There are 12 sustainability-themed student organizations on campus. Orientation advisors use skits to encourage sustainable behavior among new students, and the annual Green Greek Challenge encourages energy conservation in fraternity and sorority houses.
Approximately one-third of the campus fleet runs on E85 ethanol fuel. Carpoolers receive a 50 percent discount on parking permits, and the Shuttle-UM runs throughout campus and to various off-campus locations, including public transportation hubs. A car-sharing and free bike rental program help to minimize traffic on campus.
The University of Maryland Foundation makes a list of all holdings available to the public upon request. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is also available to the public and is sent upon request.
The foundation aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The foundation also uses certain investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The foundation asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting. Although no specific guidelines exist, the foundation considers corporate governance issues when making investments.
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