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Environment

University of Minnesota one of only three schools in nation to earn straight "A's" in sustainability

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is one of only three schools in the nation that has received all "A's" in the College Sustainability Report Card scores released today. This is the fifth consecutive year the U of M has improved its marks and the first time the university has received A's in all nine categories. The College Sustainability Report Card surveyed 322 schools this year.

The Report Card evaluates campus sustainability as a whole rather than focus on one single issue. Grades are based on 52 indicators in nine categories, which are:

  • Administration
  • Climate Change and Energy
  • Food and Recycling
  • Green Building
  • Transportation
  • Student Involvement
  • Endowment Transparency
  • Investment Priorities
  • Shareholder Engagement

The work of the university's long-standing Social Concerns Committee and asset management team provides a basis for high marks in the last three categories. Grades have also shifted as the data gathering process has improved and become more thorough. Student involvement was one category that increased this year's grade. University staff enlisted the help of students in efforts to meet the university's aggressive energy reduction goals in the last year as part of the "It All Adds Up" campaign.

Sustainability has long been a priority for the university. In 2004, the Board of Regents established the Policy on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, which has fostered the integration of sustainability into research, education, outreach and campus operations.

"This year's Report Card grade reflects a comprehensive approach and years of accomplishments by a large number of engaged and committed people integrating sustainability in their own work," said Amy Short, director of sustainability at the University of Minnesota.

Having sustainability as a priority helps drive innovative, creative and practical changes that are good for the university's future, Short said.

This is the fifth annual Report Card issued by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Cambridge, Mass.-based non-profit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices.

The university's full-page profile can be found on the GreenReportCard.org web site.

Green campus 300
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is one of only three schools in the nation that has received all "A's" in the College Sustainability Report Card scores.

Twin Cities Campus: