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VCU’s 'green' efforts are paying off

National survey rating greenest campuses calls VCU a ‘Sustainability Leader,” and rates VCU a B

The Sustainable Endowments Institute has named Virginia Commonwealth University a Campus Sustainability Leader and boosted its “green report card” grade from a B- to a B.

The group’s annual College Sustainability Report Card awarded VCU the B for its 2010 grading period. And of more than 300 universities rated, only 80 have earned the distinction of Campus Sustainability Leader.

Green Report Card for VCU
CATEGORY
2010
2009
2008
Overall Grade
B
B-
C-
Administration
A
B
D
Climate Change & Energy
A
B
D
Endowment Transparency
A
A
C
Food & Recycling
A
B
C
Green Building
B
B
B
Investment Priorities
B
C
C
Shareholder Engagement
F
F
F
Student Involvement
B
B
*
Transportation
B
B
B
*Not applicable

The announcement came on the heels of VCU’s kickoff of its Year of the Environment, which features a variety of events that highlight the contributions and leadership that universities can bring to further improve Virginia’s sustainable practices and the impact on our natural resources.

In the ratings, VCU improved its marks on four of the nine categories graded this year. In the categories of Administration and Climate Change & Energy, VCU earned “A” grades — up from Ds in both categories just two years ago.

“I am extremely pleased with these results because it truly demonstrates VCU's commitment as a community of faculty, staff and students, to promoting sustainability,” said Ed Bennett, P.E., LEED A.P., executive director for Physical Plant and deputy for Facilities Management.  “Our improvement is the result of individuals and groups taking initiative and responsibility, either on their own or as part of a larger organization, with the result being we are all working together. I'm just glad to be a part of it because it is the right thing to do.”

Green Report Card for Virginia Universities
School
2010
Overall
Grade
Virginia Commonwealth University
B
College of William & Mary
B
University of Richmond
B
Virginia Tech
B
University of Mary Washington
B-
University of Virginia
B-
Washington and Lee University
C+
Old Dominion University
C
Radford University
C
Regent University
C-
Hampton University
D+
Virginia Military Institute
D-

Other areas where the university improved were Food & Recycling and Investment Priorities. VCU’s grades remained the same in five categories and did not worsen in any category.

The College Sustainability Report Card is the nation’s only independent evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability — activities that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In contrast to the academic focus on sustainability in research and teaching, the green report card examines colleges and universities through the lens of sustainability.

For the full report on VCU, visit http://www.greenreportcard.org/report-card-2010/schools/virginia-commonwealth-university.