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2017 Sustainability Progress Report

Message from President

Dear Friends,

8/5/15 University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel.


The University of Michigan has begun its third century with strong momentum and progress toward our 2025 campus sustainability goals – thanks to the powerful shared commitment of students, faculty, staff, friends and visitors in the U-M family.

In climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community engagement, we have marshaled our academic and campus communities to extend our leadership in sustainability education, research and impact.

Launched last year, our School for Environment and Sustainability’s mission “is to contribute to the protection of the Earth’s resources and the achievement of a sustainable society.” SEAS unites students and faculty from across many academic disciplines and encourages collaboration in research and societal impact. 

The success of Planet Blue would not be possible without a university-wide commitment to ensuring that future generations will inherit a sustainable and verdant planet.  For instance, we have surpassed our goal to protect Huron River water quality by reducing chemicals used on campus landscapes by 40 percent below 2006 levels. This commendable achievement required deep commitments from multiple U-M units. Additional recent accomplishments include:

  • Diverting 6,600 tons of campus waste from landfills in 2017 through recycling, composting and other waste-prevention efforts, including 100 percent implementation at MDining facilities.
  • Continuing collaborations with Consumers Energy and DTE to promote renewable power sources to achieve campus greenhouse gas reduction goals.
  • Providing grants to test new ideas through the Planet Blue Renewable Energy Demonstration Project in addition to existing grant programs for faculty, staff and students.

I appreciate our many partners who support our sustainability efforts – including the Fred and Barbara Erb family, The Dow Chemical Company and Foundation, Peter M. Wege, and Donald Graham. I also applaud our Planet Blue Ambassadors, and all those who lead and participate in Planet Blue initiatives across our university.

Thank you for your engagement in Planet Blue. Your dedication to U-M, our students, and the future of our world is an inspiration to our entire community.


Mark Schlissel