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Report Card 2011

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University of Massachusetts–Amherst
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Massachusetts–Amherst

School details:

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Endowment: $373 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

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 Massachusetts–Amherst completed a climate action plan in January 2010. The Environmental Performance Advisory Committee has addressed transportation and waste reduction and is currently drafting green building standards for the campus. The university employs a part-time sustainability coordinator and purchases energy-efficient appliances and electronics as well as environmentally preferable paper products.
UMass Amherst aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent since 2004. Building energy consumption has decreased since 2005 through the installation of energy-saving technologies such as energy management systems and lighting retrofits. Cogeneration is used on campus, and parking lot lights are outfitted with solar arrays.
Dining services purchases many local food items, including produce sourced from an on-campus farm. Organic, fair trade, confinement-free, hormone- and antibiotic-free food products are purchased as well, and seafood purchases are informed by sustainability guidelines. Students receive a discount for using a reusable mug. All pre- and postconsumer food scraps are composted, and electronics are recycled in addition to traditional materials.
The university is completing a set of green building design guidelines based on LEED certification criteria. The Integrated Sciences Building meets LEED Certified criteria but is not currently certified. The university has reduced its annual water consumption by nearly 17 million gallons since 2005. Approximately 60 percent of the campus has been outfitted with low-flow faucets and showerheads, and stormwater is managed through the use of stone and vegetated swales.
Students in the Sustainability Residential Academic Program live in the same hallways and take courses related to sustainability together. An eco-reps program is present in 25 residence halls and reaches over 7,000 students. Ten student interns work in the sustainability office and the student government's environmental committee works to implement green policies and practices on campus.
UMass transit services coordinates with the local public transportation authority to run free transportation on campus and to destinations throughout the Pioneer Valley. Approximately 15 percent of the university fleet runs on alternative fuel. The university offers reduced rates and preferential parking for carpoolers, as well as ride-matching services. A bike-sharing program is currently under development.
The university and the UMass Foundation have no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or shareholder voting records.
The university and the foundation aim to optimize investment returns and have not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds.
The university and the foundation have not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
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