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Report Card 2009

Executive Summary


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. In contrast to the academic focus on sustainability in research and teaching, the Report Card examines colleges and universities, as institutions, through the lens of sustainability.


Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Are these considerations guiding how resources are managed in campus operations and endowment practices? The Report Card is designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example on sustainability. The aim is to provide accessible information for schools to learn from each other’s experiences and establish more effective sustainability policies.


Just as the grading system serves as an incentive in the classroom, 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:



Now in its third year, the College Sustainability Report Card covers the colleges and universities with the 300 largest endowments in the United States and Canada, representing more than $380 billion in endowment assets, or more than 90 percent of all university endowments. It increases the number of schools included by 50 percent relative to the 2008 edition of the Report Card and provides insights into recent trends.


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