“Going green” has been one of many issues President Obama vowed to tackle (remember the White House’s LED lights and recycled Christmas ornaments?), but the issue isn’t just in the government. Colleges and universities have been working to make their campuses greener, and students and faculty at MU are right in the thick of efforts to make a more sustainable campus.
One website, www.greenreportcards.org, analyzes schools around the country to determine overall “grades” for sustainability, and the following summarizes MU’s “green report card.”
Overall Score: B-
MU is currently drafting its official sustainability policy, planning to emphasize energy efficiency, awareness and resource protection.
Climate Change and Energy: A
MU reduced its greenhouse gas emissions per square foot by 11 percent between 1990 and 2009 and saves $50,000 annually by since switching 4 percent of its coal supply to burning wood chips. Heating and electricity on campus are provided by a cogeneration plant, and major HVAC systems have been upgraded to meet high-efficiency standards.
Food and Recycling: B
The university boats 16 composting dumpsters around campus, and MU has increased campus-wide recycling from 20 percent to 25 percent in the past year.
Green Building: C
All new construction projects will follow sustainability principles and concepts, but only two buildings on campus (University Hall and the General Services Building) are Energy Star-labeled.
Student Involvement: A
Students on campus can participate in organizations like Sustain Mizzou.
MU’s fleet includes two hybrid and many E-85 vehicles, and the university provides numerous public transit options.
Endowment Transparency: B
All holdings are available on the MU website, but shareholder voting records are not public.
Investment Priorities: C
The university does not invest in renewable energy or community development funds.
Shareholder Engagement: F
MU asks its investment managers to handle proxy voting details.
For more details on how MU stacks up against other universities, go here.