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Virginia Tech's sustainability efforts receives grade of B+ from Sustainable Endowments Institute's 2011 report card


BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 8, 2011 – Virginia Tech received an overall rating of B+ in the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card 2011.

The university's overall grade has improved each year since it first participated in the survey in 2008. Virginia Tech received overall grades of C- in 2008, B- in 2009, and B in 2010.

The 2011 Sustainable Endowments Institute Campus Sustainability Report Card on Virginia Tech can be found online.

“We are pleased that Virginia Tech's ongoing efforts in the area of sustainability are being recognized,” said Denny Cochrane, sustainability program manager in the Office of Energy and Sustainability at Virginia Tech. “Since 2009, when the university fully adopted the Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan, we’ve made tremendous strides in improving those areas that are part of a comprehensive sustainability effort. However, our work is not complete, and we look forward to making additional improvements in the future.”

The Sustainable Endowments Institute is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. The College Sustainability Report Card 2011 profiled 322 college and universities across the nation in an effort to help institutions learn from each other’s sustainability activities. The report examines 52 indicators in nine broad categories and uses an A to F letter-grading system to evaluate performance.

Virginia Tech received an A rating in six of nine categories (administration, climate change and energy, green building, student involvement, transportation, and investment priorities) used in the survey.

In addition, three categories (climate change and energy, green building, and endowment transparency) improved one full letter grade from the 2010 report. Six categories (administration, food and recycling, student involvement, transportation, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement) received the same grade found last year’s survey.

Virginia Tech has received an A rating in the transportation category in for all four years it has participated in the survey, and student involvement received an A rating for all three years since this category was introduced in 2009. 

Within Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University was the only college or university to receive an overall grade of A-. The College of William and Mary joined Virginia Tech with a B+ grade, and the University of Virginia, University of Richmond, and Washington and Lee University each received a B rating.

On June 1, 2009, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors unanimously approved The Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment Resolution and endorsed the accompanying sustainability plan. The Office of Energy and Sustainability has developed the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan Status Report to show the current status of more than 80 actions and measures identified in the sustainability plan.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.