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Report Card 2011

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University of Rochester
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Rochester

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $1,496 million as of December 31, 2009

Location: Rochester, New York


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 Rochester employs a full-time recycling coordinator and includes sustainability components in the campus master plan and strategic plan. The University Council on Sustainability, cochaired by the provost and senior VP for finance and administration and one of three environmentally focused committees on campus, acts as a clearinghouse for campus sustainability activities and provides support to initiatives ranging from operations to curriculum.
The university has realized a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005 and currently has a two-year contract to purchase renewable energy credits that represent 24 percent of campus electricity needs. All lighting on campus has been replaced with energy-efficient fixtures, and an energy management system is used in all buildings to monitor energy use.
Rochester spends 36 percent of its food budget on local items. All seafood purchased for the campus is sustainably harvested, and fair trade coffee is available in all dining locations. Since September 2009, the university’s dining halls have been trayless. All preconsumer and 30 percent of postconsumer food scraps are composted.
All major construction projects are designed to meet LEED Silver criteria. The university has two buildings that meet LEED Certified standards, one that meets LEED Silver standards, and seven others that meet Energy Star criteria. Rochester has repurposed 41,000 square feet of building space for alternative use since 2000. In addition, the university has installed water-saving technologies across campus, including weather-informed irrigation systems, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and building water metering.
A student sustainability coordinator serves on the University Council on Sustainability and is responsible for meeting and coordinating with the heads of environmental student groups on campus. The university has an off-campus Eco House in which ten students live sustainable lifestyles. Rochester employs nine paid student sustainability interns each year.
Rochester offers up to a 100 percent discount on parking passes as an incentive for carpooling. Free transportation is provided to all off-campus affiliate buildings, and since 2004, the university has run a free bike-sharing program.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level is available to all members of the school community. This information is sent upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The investment committee, which includes one administrator trustee and sixteen alumni trustees, deliberates and makes decisions on proxy votes.
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