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Archive for April 13th, 2009

The Sustainable Endowments Institute, a nonprofit organization that advances sustainability on university and college campuses, has released their 2009 College Sustainability Report Card. An independent evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at colleges and universities with the 300 largest endowments in the United States and Canada, the report card is designed to identify institutions that are leading by example on sustainability.

The Report Card’s grading system seeks to encourage sustainability as a priority in college operations and endowment investment practices by offering independent yearly assessments. The focus is on policies and practices in nine main categories:

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

How does my school rank?
Twelve Texas schools are represented in the report card but only one school, Rice University, falls in the top third with an overall score of B-. Eight Texas schools land in the bottom third with scores of C- to D. Below is a listing of the Texas schools rated and their overall score.

Texas University City 2008 Score 2009 Score
Rice University Houston C+ B-
University of Texas at Austin Austin B- C+
Texas A & M University College Station C- C+
Southern Methodist University Dallas C- C+
University of Houston Houston D C-
Trinity University San Antonio D- C-
Baylor University Waco C- C-
Southwestern University Georgetown D+ C-
Texas Christian University Fort Worth D+ C-
University of Texas at Dallas Dallas N/A C-
Abilene Christian University Abilene N/A D+
Texas Tech University Lubbock D D

To find out more about your school’s rankings go to The College Sustainability Report Card.

How can my school participate in the College Sustainability Report Card?
In 2010, the Sustainable Endowments Institute is offering the opportunity for all institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada to be included in the College Sustainability Report Card. Through a new Opt-In Initiative, any higher education institution may apply for inclusion in the 2010 edition of the College Sustainability Report Card.  Applications to Opt-In a school may be submitted by administrators, alumni, faculty, staff, students or trustees and must be received by May 8, 2009.

This process will dramatically increase the depth and breadth of school evaluations in the Report Card, however to sustain this increase there is a requirement of a $700 donation. Grant assistance is available to schools that have a demonstrated need.

If you would like to have your school included in the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card you can find links to the application forms here.

Where can I get help if I would like to encourage sustainability at my campus?
ReEnergize Texas, a project of the Texas office of Public Citizen, is a coalition of students fighting climate change across the Lone Star State. We have staff available to assist student groups who want to get active on their campuses. If you would like to have your campus participate in the College Sustainability Report Card or would like ideas about what your campus can do to improve their score, visit ReEnergize Texas to find out how we can help.

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