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Report Card 2011

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University of Virginia
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Virginia

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $4,583 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia


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  
The President's Committee on Sustainability develops outreach efforts and goals and conducts a comprehensive campus assessment. Eleven full-time staff work on sustainability initiatives across campus departments, including dining, transportation, energy, planning, and health and safety. Uva recently created a revolving loan fund for energy efficiency projects.
Uva has developed a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2008 levels by 2020. Additionally, the Darden Graduate School of Business has committed to be a zero-waste, carbon neutral campus by 2020. Energy-saving improvements include the installation of building automation systems and high-efficiency lighting, and the university has achieved a 3 percent reduction in building energy consumption since 2005.
Dining services mostly purchases sustainably harvested seafood as well as some fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea, bananas, and ice cream. Almost all dining facilities are trayless, and pre- and postconsumer food waste is composted at 80 percent of meals. The university recycles electronics and diverts 57 percent of its traditional waste from landfills.
Uva requires that all major new construction and renovation projects be designed to achieve at least a LEED Certified rating. The campus has two LEED Silver-certified buildings, and seventeen buildings are being built to LEED standards. The university has installed water-saving technologies, including low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets, and building condensation water is collected for irrigation.
Uva is home to numerous sustainability-related student groups that work on initiatives such as hosting a farmers market on campus, running a student garden, and contributing to campus sustainability audits. The Hereford Residential College houses 250 students in an environmentally themed learning environment. The sustainability office employs 9 student interns and sponsors 40 sustainability advocates to foster environmental awareness.
Students, faculty, and staff receive free public transit passes and discounted parking passes for carpooling. The university provides a transit service around campus and to local hotspots, and a free trolley goes to downtown Charlottesville. UVa hosts a car-sharing program, and 95 percent of students commute to campus using environmentally preferable transportation.
The university makes only asset allocation information available to the public and does not make its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, and the endowment is currently invested in renewable energy funds. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university asks that its investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
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