University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM Ranks Among Top Six Schools Nationally for Green Practices and Policies

Release Date: 10-25-2007

Author: Jeffrey R. Wakefield
Phone: 802/656-2005 Fax: (802) 656-3203

The Sustainable Endowments Institute has ranked UVM among the top six schools nationally for green practices and policies, giving the school an overall grade of A- in its just released College Sustainability Report Card.

Also receiving an A-, the highest grade given by the institute, were Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, Carleton College and the University of Washington.

The institute graded the 200 U.S. colleges and universities with the largest endowments in seven categories and then awarded an overall grade. Its aim is to show a correlation between an institution�s green practices and its investment decisions.

In addition to its overall grade, UVM received a B in the Climate Change and Energy subcategory; an A in Food & Recycling; an A in Green Building; an A in Transportation; a B in Endowment Transparency; a B in Investment Priorities; and an A in Shareholder Engagement.

A number of specific programs helped boost UVM's score. Among many other items noted on the Report Card were the fact that UVM purchases 30 percent of its food from local producers; that UVM diverts about 35 percent of its waste stream from the landfill and recently won the Outstanding College or University Award from the National Recyling Coalition; that its green building policy requires all new buildings to be LEED silver certified and aspire to LEED gold; that six of its 10 buses run on clean natural gas; and that it has a committee of staff, faculty, students, trustees and administrators that makes recommendations to the Budget, Finance, and Investment Committee of the university�s board of trustees, which have always been accepted by the board.

The College Sustainability Report Card 2008 is the second such report from the Sustainable Endowments Institute, and is published as part of the Institute�s broader effort to encourage discussion on sustainability in higher education. The Institute, a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, receives funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, among others. The full College Sustainability Report Card 2008 is available on the Sustainable Endowments Institute website.

The Sustainable Endowments Institute is a Cambridge-based nonprofit organization