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Villanova University Recognized for Sustainability Efforts by Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

University identified for its environmental responsibility in areas including food and recycling, student involvement, and endowment investment policies

Villanova one of only 12 institutions honored as an "Endowment Sustainability Leader"

For Immediate Release
Oct. 8, 2009

VILLANOVA, Pa., Oct. 8, 2009 – Villanova University—which became a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007—was recognized today in the annual College Sustainability Report Card. The Report Card is published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a special Project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. It identifies colleges in the US and Canada that exemplify best practices in environmental responsibility. The goal of the Report Card is to enable colleges to learn from one another and to thereby establish more effective sustainability policies.

Among 332 schools, Villanova received an overall grade of “B+” for its university-wide environmental initiatives. This grade is based on performance across 48 sustainability indicators including food and recycling, student involvement, and endowment investment policies.

Villanova earned an “A” in several categories, including food and recycling. Villanova implements dining practices including trayless cafeterias, an 80-ton-per-year composting initiative, cultivation of organic herb gardens, and a 27% purchase rate for local food. In the recycling area, Villanova diverts 90% of its construction waste, and has recycled nearly 12 million pounds of campus waste since it formalized its recycling efforts in 1988.

Villanova was also honored as an "Endowment Sustainability Leader," a title given to only 12 colleges that earned an average grade of “A-” or better on three endowment management categories: transparency, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement. Villanova’s social responsibility investment policy endorses the principles espoused in the guidelines issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which include the promotion of human dignity and the protection of the environment.

“As an Augustinian institution, Villanova’s mission is rooted in serving and caring for our community,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University President. “This includes respecting all people and protecting the ecosystems upon which we, and future generations, will always depend.”

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Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.