Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, March 22, 2010

University issues call for ideas to improve
sustainability efforts

Everything begins with an idea, and innovative ways for helping to “green” the U-M campus are no exception. With this in mind, the university is soliciting ideas for ways to improve sustainability efforts on campus.

How to participate

Submit ideas about how to improve sustainability on the U-M campus.
Click here to register for the Campus Sustainability Town Hall Meeting on April 12.

This call for ideas is part of a large-scale Campus Sustainability project being conducted by the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute’s Integrated Assessment (IA) Team and the new Office of Campus Sustainability — with active input and involvement from U-M students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.

“We’ve received quite a few submissions from staff and faculty,” says John Callewaert, director of integrated assessment at the Graham Institute, in reference to an online Campus Sustainability Idea Submission Form on the Graham Institute Web site. “Now we’re really hoping to hear more from students.”

There are seven specific project subject areas where the Campus Sustainability team is actively seeking input:

• Buildings

• Energy

• Transportation

• Land and water

• Food

• Purchasing and recycling

• Culture

“No concept is too small,” Callewaert says. “In fact, some of the most effective means for reducing environmental impact can be achieved through simple efforts. We really want to receive input from all levels of our student population about what they think we should be doing.”

The online idea form isn’t the only means for the U-M community to offer input about campus sustainability, or to learn about what suggestions or activities may already be on the table related to the Campus Sustainability project.

The Graham Institute and OCS are holding a “phase two” Campus Sustainability Town Hall Meeting on April 12, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Rackham Building’s Fourth Floor Amphitheatre.

As part of the event, Campus Sustainability Analysis Teams (staffed by U-M faculty and students) will present preliminary findings and proposed action plans for their specific project areas. After these brief reports, attendees will be invited to participate in up to two different Analysis Team Breakout Sessions to learn more about the project areas, as well as to offer comments and suggestions for those projects.

“The Campus Sustainability Town Hall Meeting is an important opportunity for individuals to have a say about what they think the university should be pursuing to improve our environmental stewardship,” says Don Scavia, director of the Graham Institute and special counsel to the U-M president on sustainability. “It’s also a great way for students to make a very valuable and lasting contribution to their alma mater.”