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Sustainable Endowments Institute again recognizes SU with strong marks in sustainability

November 08, 2010

Will Wallak
(315) 443-5887

Syracuse University’s continued leadership in creating a more sustainable campus has again earned the University strong marks in the latest report from the Sustainable Endowments Institute. SU boosted its grades from “C” to “B” in both the Green Building and Endowment Transparency categories, while earning an overall grade of “B” in the institute’s 2011 College Sustainability Report Card. This is the same overall grade SU received last year.

sust.“On the one hand, our grade stayed the same,” says Rick Martin, principal sustainability analyst with SU’s Sustainability Division. “On the other hand, the test got harder.”

In the Green Building category, SU’s improved “B” grade highlighted the new campus buildings that are seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Also noted was the use of water conservation technologies such as dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets.

SU’s higher “B” score in the Endowment Transparency category reflects disclosures available to the general public. These include asset allocation information and votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level.

The 2011 Report Card again gave SU “A” grades in the categories of Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Transportation and Investment Priorities. The following are highlights of SU’s continued excellent performance in these areas:

  • Administration: A formal sustainability policy, climate action plan and a green building policy are in place. The master plan includes a sustainability component. A dedicated Sustainability Division and staff work to implement sustainability initiatives.
  • Climate Change & Energy: A commitment has been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 37 percent by 2040 through implementation of the Climate Action Plan (CAP). Improved energy efficiency measures have been implemented, such as temperature setbacks and installing efficient lighting technology and heat recovery systems.
  • Transportation: Reduced parking rates are offered to faculty and staff who carpool to campus, students receive free bus passes for local travel, campus shuttle service is provided and the Zipcar car-sharing program is available to students, faculty and staff.
  • Investment Priorities: These focus on optimizing investment returns and endowment investments in renewable energy funds.

To view the complete report, visit

Now in its fifth edition, the College Sustainability Report Card is the only independent evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The report card provides detailed school profiles and grades for colleges and universities with the 300 largest endowments, as well as 22 additional schools that applied for inclusion. Each school’s performance is assessed across 52 indicators in the following nine categories: Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Food & Recycling, Green Building, Transportation, Student Involvement, Endowment Transparency, Investment Priorities and Shareholder Engagement.

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