U-M plans to set global sustainability pace with assessment

The University of Michigan is hoping to set a global precedent for sustainability with a new study on campus operations.

The year-long comprehensive study will tackle the devil in the details of the university's consumption of resources, which encompasses more than 80,000 staff and students in 580 buildings. The idea is find every place the university can create efficiencies in its resource consumption.

"We're not aware of a campus of this size that is attempting such a comprehensive analysis," says Don Scavia, special counsel to the president on sustainability and director of the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute. He is also a professor civil and environmental engineering at the university's School of Natural Resources.

The multi-layered analysis is expected to set the stage for the long-term behavioral changes. The Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and the Office of Campus Sustainability will engage teams of faculty, staff and students in the integrated assessment in a coordinated process to gather data, capture a multitude of perspectives, promote buy-in and draw on deep technical expertise.

During the study, university stakeholders are be encouraged to contribute ideas through town hall meetings and online. The first meeting will be held between 4-5:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 in the Michigan League Ballroom. For information, click here.

Source: Don Scavia, special counsel to the president on sustainability and director of the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute
Writer: Jon Zemke
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