Environmental stewardshipactively and responsibly working to manage our resources for the benefit of present and future generations of people, plants and animalshas been an important goal for many at the University for many years. In this huge and complex organization, however, much of the effort has been hidden from public view, known only to individual units or departments.
Now a new Web site has been constructed to highlight these environmental initiatives and present a more complete picture of the Universitys commitment to environmental sustainability. The pages include recent projects, like the pilot vermiculture food recycling program, and information about less visible strategies to prevent or reduce destruction of the environment, such as stormwater management programs, pollution prevention, alternative fuels and green purchasing.
One section of the site presents opportunities for individuals to help in areas like improving water quality, recycling, alternative transportation and buying green products. Another details research and teaching efforts from all over campus, dedicated to understanding and protecting the environment. The site highlights student-led initiatives and celebrates successes like
U-Ms recent victory as the National Recycling Coalitions Outstanding School Program and the U-M Health Systems two environmental excellence awards from Hospitals for a Healthy Environment.
Many within the University, in the community, even alumni, are deeply concerned about what U-M is doing to reduce our impact on the environment, and we are happy to have this chance to let them know about the programs weve started, said Terry Alexander, director of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health. Theres a lot we can do administratively, and we know we have more to do, but the key to our ultimate success is going to be the involvement of students and faculty, he added. We cant do it alone.
Interim President B. Joseph White concurs. I strongly believe that we need to challenge the University to become an exemplary organization in terms of environmental stewardship and to build on the many initiatives we already have in place, from recycling to mercury reduction, he said in a recent letter to the University community. We have a responsibility to pass on to our children and to their childrenin Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint and around the worlda healthy and beautiful planet.
The site attempts to capture activities going on across campus, but we know we havent identified everything, says Julie Peterson, associate vice president for media relations and public affairs. We will continue to add to this site as we learn about additional efforts that should be featured. Send information about new or existing activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will find the Environmental Stewardship Web site at www.umich.edu/~urel/stewardship.