The Sustainability Office was established in Fall 2008 to communicate, coordinate, and assess sustainability efforts on the UMD campus. Our goal is to make sustainability a central theme for everything we do at UMD.
Why we're here
The U of MN Board of Regents Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Policy defines sustainability as "a continuous effort integrating environmental, social, and economic goals through design, planning, and operational organization to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
(You can read the Sustainability Annual Report submitted to President Kaler for 2010 -2011.)
How do we help to create a sustainable future for our campus? By doing whatever we can to ensure that UMD is a thriving university that provides high quality education with effective budgets and affordable tuition, all whlie making UMD a healthier and more environmentally friendly place to learn, work, and live.
UMD is a signatory of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. To meet these commitments, UMD conducted a campus greenhouse gas inventory to determine how much carbon we are emitting, and look for ways to cut back our emissions.
In January of 2009, a UMD Sustainability Committee was formed to :
- Provide faculty, staff and student expertise
- Facilitate continued incorporation of sustainability into UMD operations, education, outreach, and research activities at UMD
- Guide efforts at UMD to meet commitments for climate protection and support implementation of the U of MN Board of Regents Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Policy
- Advance opportunities for sustainability–related education, service, and research
- Serve on Task Force groups, as needed, to support sustainability improvements at UMD
Members were appointed by and report recommendations to UMD's Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations. The Committee meets regularly to discuss sustainability and energy issues at UMD, and has been charged with submitting a Climate Action Plan for UMD to meet the requirement for the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
- February 2009 – Overview of UMD’s sustainability commitments, sustainability communication team updates.
- April 2009 – Review of Committee charge and structure, "UMD Energy 101: Electricity, heating, cooling, and more!", Update on spring 2009 student sustainability activities.
- June 2009 – Greenhouse Gas Inventory for 2007: UMD’s baseline carbon footprint.
- August 2009 – Tour of UMD’s first net–positive energy building: Bagley Outdoor Classroom (under construction).
- November 2009 – What is next? Campus energy policy, Climate Action Planning– a framework for reducing UMD greenhouse gas emissions.
- December 2010 - The committee reviewed and revised the first draft of UMD's Energy Action Plan and approved carbon emission reduction goals. The draft UMD Energy Action Plan helps to meet the reporting requirements of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment.
- March 2011 - The committee approved a revised draft of the UMD Energy Action Plan along with a marketing plan to gain feedback from the campus. The committee recommended that the Sustainability Office host a Campus Idols program next year, focusing on individual department members and promoting energy efficiency and other resource conservation.