UT Leaps To B+ On Latest College Sustainability Report Card

UT campusThe University of Texas’ many recent and concerted efforts to boost its green cred appear to be paying off, according to a new ranking released today.

UT scored a B+ on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, an entire letter grade higher than its score last year.

The University earned high marks on its recycling and food service programs, particularly for its commitment to buying local and organic foods, fair trade coffee, and chicken and eggs free of hormones and antibiotics.

Since 1986, UT has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent, and all new buildings must be certified LEED Silver or higher.

Students also scored highly. “The school employs numerous student sustainability interns and eco-reps, and students participate in RecycleMania each year to reduce waste,” the report states.

The fact that half the school community travels to campus by alternative modes of transportation helped UT score an A in the transportation category.

What brought down UT’s overall score was a perceived inattention on the part of UT’s investment managers to pour money into on-campus sustainability projects.

“The management company aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds,” the report says.

UTIMCO has been honest and forthright that it is committed to maximizing returns on its investments, period. The report did praise UTIMCO’s commitment to transparency.

Brown University earned the highest ranking on the report, followed by Dickinson, Oberlin, and Pomona colleges. A total of 52 out of 322 colleges and universities earned As.

File photo by Val Cook


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