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Report Card 2011

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University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

School details:

  Grade lower than last year


Endowment: $6,115 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: No


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  
Michigan's Sustainability Executive Council, one of three committees dedicated to sustainability, has worked on initiatives such as energy, food, and waste reduction. Four full-time staff are employed in the Office of Campus Sustainability, and the newly formed Sustainable Champion program rewards individuals who spearhead sustainable best practices within their department or facility. The university regularly purchases Energy Star-labeled appliances and environmentally preferable paper products.
U of M operates a natural gas cogeneration facility that meets 50 percent of campus energy needs. The campus also features a solar hot water system and a 35-kilowatt solar array. The Planet Blue energy-saving initiative has resulted in a 9 to 14 percent decrease in energy consumption in participating buildings. HVAC systems have been upgraded for efficiency, and energy management systems monitor 75 percent of buildings.
Dining services spends approximately 10 percent of its food budget on local products. Organic, fair trade, confinement-free, sustainably harvested, vegetarian-fed, and hormone- and antibiotic-free food items are also purchased. Discounts are offered for use of reusable dishware; pre- and postconsumer food waste is composted; and many residence halls have trayless dining.
U of M mandates that all new construction projects over $10 million meet at least LEED Silver standards. There are three LEED-certified buildings on campus, including the LEED Gold-certified DANA School of Natural Resources. Annual water consumption has decreased nearly 13 percent due to the installation of water conservation technologies such as waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow water fixtures.
The Student Sustainability Initiative includes at least 22 sustainability-themed groups, including Environmental Action (EnAct) and the Michigan Sustainable Foods Initiative (MSFI). The winning dorm in the annual Ecolympics reduced their energy use by 15 percent. New students are met with sustainability-themed presentations and a green guide during orientation.
The university fleet includes 655 alternative-fuel vehicles. The M-Ride program enables all students and employees to ride local transit buses for free anywhere in the Ann Arbor area. A car-sharing program featuring ten vehicles helps reduce traffic on campus.
The university makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, mutual funds, equity holdings, and fixed income holdings accessible online to the public. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is sent upon request to the public per open records law.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is invested in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university provides its investment managers with guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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