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Report Card 2011

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University of Tennessee–Knoxville
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Tennessee–Knoxville

School details:

Endowment: $693 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee


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  
UT Knoxville is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and components of the campus master plan. Five full-time staff and four part-time staff are devoted to advancing sustainability on campus. In addition, the university has two sustainability committees, including the Student Environmental Initiatives Committee, which recently developed a plan to install a photovoltaic array on campus.
UT Knoxville decreased emissions 7 percent from 2008 to 2009. The university has also achieved a reduction in building energy consumption by implementing temperature setpoints and installing back pressure turbines and heat recovery systems in campus buildings. The school offers trade-in programs for inefficient lightbulbs and encourages green IT policies.
Dining services purchases hormone- and antibiotic-free dairy products from local sources and serves organic dairy products, seafood, granola, and cereal. Fair trade coffee and tea are served at all dining services locations, and students who bring their own reusable mugs receive a 50 percent discount on beverage refills. Food waste is minimized through careful planning, and preconsumer food scraps are composted as part of a pilot program.
UT Knoxville's sustainable building policy, the first of its kind in the state, requires that construction and major renovation projects over $5 million meet LEED standards. Six buildings on campus currently meet LEED Certified criteria, though they are not yet formally certified. Over the past ten years, the school has repurposed several older buildings for use as university offices and residence halls.
A group of 61 students lives in the Venture Living-Learning Community, a sustainability-themed residential program. At orientation, new students are introduced to the school’s sustainability programs with presentations and rides on a biodiesel-powered bus. Three interns and 21 eco-reps work to promote sustainability among their peers through annual activities such as RecycleMania, the Paper Purge Party, and Recyclympics.
The university partners with local municipalities to promote the use of alternative transportation. Employees can participate in a vanpool program; all campus community members receive a 77 percent discount on bus passes; and freshmen are given a free bus pass during their first semester on campus. The university also runs a bike rental program with 30 bikes.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to the general public per open records law. Information about the school’s shareholder voting record is provided upon request.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds. Donors can request that gifts be directed toward sustainability projects on campus.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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