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Report Card 2011

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University of Vermont
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Vermont

School details:

Endowment: $293 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Burlington, Vermont


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.


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Overall grade  
A -
Environmental stewardship is one of the core missions of the university and is included in UVM’s strategic and master plans. The six-member sustainability office coordinates campus-wide energy reduction and green purchasing efforts. The university operates both a clean energy fund, supported by a student green fee, and an energy efficiency revolving loan fund.
UVM has conducted a greenhouse gas emissions inventory each year since 1990 and has reduced building energy consumption by 8 percent since 2005. Energy efficiency has increased through the installation of high-efficiency lighting and heat recovery systems, and 65 percent of electricity purchased through a municipal utility is from renewable fuel sources.
The campus purchases local food from over 85 growers, processors, and distributors, as well as from Common Ground, the on-campus student farm. All milk is hormone and antibiotic free; half of all seafood is sustainably harvested; and the university purchases fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea, and bananas. The dining halls are trayless and compost pre- and postconsumer food waste at all meals.
All new buildings and major renovations must be certified at or above LEED Silver standards. The campus currently has five LEED Gold- and three LEED Silver-certified buildings. Water-saving improvements, including upgrades to the central heating plant and the installation of low-flow faucets and showerheads, have resulted in a 17 percent per capita reduction in water use since 2005.
UVM has several active student sustainability groups, including student government and VSTEP, which advocated for a bottled water ban. Students can live in two sustainability-themed communities, the 24-member Slade Ecological Co-operative or the 280-member GreenHouse. The sustainability office employs four graduate fellows and 35 eco-reps to conduct research and outreach.
All members of the campus community use local public transportation free of charge. Carpoolers receive discounted parking passes, and the university partners with a city-wide car-sharing program. All on-campus shuttles run on biodiesel or compressed natural gas, and 82 percent of students commute to campus by environmentally preferable means.
The university makes a list of all holdings available to the public at the investment office. A list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, is available at the investment office to all members of the school community.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is exploring, but not currently invested in, renewable energy funds, community development loan funds, and on-campus energy or water efficiency projects. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
An advisory committee including students, faculty, staff, and trustees makes proxy voting recommendations to the board of trustees.
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