September 29, 2008
Sustainable Endowments Institute Releases College Sustainability Report Card
by Robert Kropp
Annual survey encourages commitment to sustainability, including investment priorities, shareholder
engagement, and endowment transparency by colleges with largest endowments.
The Sustainable Endowments
Institute has released its annual College Sustainability Report Card for 2009. The Report
Card grades 300 colleges in the U.S. and Canada with the largest endowments, which range from $150
million to $35 billion.
The Report Card grades colleges in nine
categories: Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Food & Recycling, Green Building, Student
Involvement, Transportation, Endowment Transparency, Investment Priorities, and Shareholder
Some of the key findings include: 35% of schools currently have endowment
investments in renewable energy, 23% of schools make proxy voting records available to the campus
community, 1 in 3 schools make lists of endowment holdings available to the campus community and
just 1 in 9 schools has an advisory committee on shareholder responsibility.
a poll conducted by the Princeton Review, sixty-three percent of college applicants said that a
college’s commitment to the environment could affect their decision to attend.
Sustainable Endowments Institute encourages colleges to become engaged shareholders to ensure that
assets from endowments are invested in a socially responsible manner. 746 colleges own combined
endowment assets of approximately $290 billion, and can be influential in improving corporate
Yet only a small percentage of colleges vote on social and environmental
shareholder resolutions, and fewer still submit proxy resolutions pertaining to sustainability and
SRI World Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.