Taubman College faculty lead U-M sustainability assessment for campus betterment, global leadership

This month marks the commencement of a year-long, comprehensive study of University of Michigan campus operations. For U-M’s more than 80,000 faculty, students and staff along with its 580 buildings, the study aims to set ambitious goals toward sustainability across the university.

The Sustainability Executive Council, a recently formed group chaired by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, approved the “integrated assessment” study as one of its first major initiatives. The assessment intends to yield long-term behavioral changes that will enable the university to reach its “green” goals and help fortify its standing for global leadership.

Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and the Office of Campus Sustainability (OCS) will engage teams of faculty, staff and students in the integrated assessment to gather data, capture a variety of perspectives, promote buy-in and draw on technical expertise.

“This process will provide a strong foundation for an intensified focus on sustainability at the University of Michigan and allow us to serve as a role model for other organizations striving to engage their communities in bringing about change,” Coleman said.

As the initiative develops, students, faculty, staff and alumni will be encouraged to contribute ideas through town hall meetings and a website. (The first town hall will be 4-5:30 p.m., Jan. 28, in the Michigan League Ballroom. RSVP is required. More information is available here.)

“The ultimate goal is to emerge from the process with a set of goals and a holistic perspective to inform an overall campus sustainability strategy going forward,” said Terry Alexander, executive director of the OCS. “It will help us to take campus sustainability to a new level here at U-M.”

Taubman College faculty leading the U-M assessments in the following areas include:

Building Standards, Geoffrey Thun; Food, Larissa Larsen; Transportation, Jonathan Levine, and Culture, Robert Marans, Taubman College professor emeritus and Institute for Social Research.

Other faculty-lead analyis teams include:
Energy — Greg Keoleian, School of Natural Resources & Environment (SNRE); Water and Land — Stan Jones and Joan Nassauer, SNRE.

For more information on the study, please visit here.