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Report Card 2011

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Washington and Lee University
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Washington and Lee University

School details:

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Endowment: $713 million as of June 30, 2010

Location: Lexington, Virginia


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  
The University Sustainability Committee and the Energy Task Force work to coordinate sustainability efforts on campus, including the implementation of a program to invest $5 million in energy conservation projects. Washington and Lee purchases exclusively Energy Star appliances as well as some environmentally preferable paper products.
Washington and Lee has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2007 levels by 2020 and has reduced building energy consumption by 6 percent since 2005. The university has installed energy-saving improvements across campus, including heat recovery and energy management systems, high-efficiency lighting, and temperature setbacks.
Dining services spends 37 percent of its food budget on local and organic items and sources some herbs and vegetables from the campus garden. Almost all of the eggs purchased are cage free, and most of the milk and beef is vegetarian fed and hormone and antibiotic free. The dining facility composts 70 percent of its preconsumer food waste, as well as greenware, and is entirely trayless. The university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials.
All new construction and renovation projects must achieve a LEED Certified rating or higher. Per capita water use has decreased by 25 percent since 2005, and water-saving improvements on campus include high-efficiency laundry machines and low-flow faucets and showerheads. The university diverted 75 percent of its construction waste on LEED building projects from landfills.
Three work-study students are employed to work on sustainability initiatives. No bottled water is offered during new student orientation. The Student Environmental Action League and Environmental Law Society actively promote sustainability on campus.
The university offers a free shuttle to local, off-campus destinations, and 75 percent of students commute via environmentally preferable means. The student Outing Club helps run a free bike repair program; the library loans out bikes; and shower facilities for cyclists are available on campus. Approximately 10 percent of the campus vehicle fleet is electric or biodiesel.
The university makes a list of external managers available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community. The university makes neither a list of endowment holdings nor its shareholder voting record public.
The university aims to optimize investment returns, is currently invested in renewable energy funds, and is exploring, but not currently invested in, on-campus energy or water efficiency projects. The university also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors.
The university is unable to vote proxies, as the entire endowment is invested in mutual funds or other commingled investment vehicles.
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