The University received a B-plus in a recent nationwide study of universities’ environmental practices.
The study – conducted annually by the Sustainable Endowment Institute – graded 200 U.S. and Canadian private and public universities with large financial endowments.
It had eight major criteria, all of which were used to test environmental sustainability.
Among the criteria were transportation, food and recycling and program administration – all categories in which the University received an A.
The University also received an A in investment priorities, which tracks how schools fund renewable energy initiatives.
The worst grade the University received was a D in shareholder engagement. The category evaluates how involved stakeholders and the school community are with a university. The only positive cited by the report in that category was the University’s distribution of guidelines to its investment managers.
In the other categories, though, the University received high praise. The report said the Office of the President’s prominent role on the University’s Environmental Task Force was a major thing the administration is doing to promote a green campus. The survey indicated that the University has “several full-time employees” who work specifically on energy-based initiatives.
The report also commended the University’s transportation initiatives. The University has the largest active alternative fuel vehicle fleet in the state, and 87 percent of its passenger-vehicle fleet use alternative fuels.
The University finished in the upper quartile of the schools surveyed. Just 3 percent of the schools in the survey finished with an A average, while 28 percent received a B. Forty-two percent of schools received C’s, 25 percent received D’s and 2 percent of colleges received a failing grade.