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Environment & Sustainability

Recommended resources for scholars engaging with environmental research

Current Goals and Initiatives

Goal: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 25% below 2006 baseline by 2025. Progress found here

Greenhouse gas reduction initiatives: (details found here)

  • Expansion of the Central Power Plant to include a 15-megawatt combustion turbine.
  • Continued purchase of Renewable Energy Credits.
  • Continued investment in U-M’s Energy Management Program.
  • Funding for demonstration projects that support research and learning on campus.
  • Planning beyond the 2025 goal.

President Mark Schlissel's commission on carbon neutrality. The president of the university has assigned a group of individuals comprised of faculty, students, and local representatives to come up with plans and recommendations for the university to become carbon neutral. 


  • December, 2019: Climate Action Movement sends a letter to members of the President's Commission on Carbon Neutrality calling out slow progress and apparent sidelining of student concerns.
  • December, 2019: The One University Campaign and Climate Action Movement host a joint action at the December Regents' Meeting, demanding immediate action to freeze new fossil fuel investments through the U-M endowment and consider divestment. They are forcibly removed by police.
  • April, 2019: U-M to reduce emissions through renewable energy purchase from DTE Energy. Michigan News Article. 
  • April, 2019: U-M students silently protest at new Museum of Natural History building grand opening. Michigan Daily Article.
  • April, 2019: President Schlissel holds a session for questions on the carbon neutrality commission. University article here.
  • March, 2019: Demonstrators hold indefinite study-in in Schlissel’s office, call for carbon neutrality by 2030. Michigan Daily Article.
  • March, 2019: Police detain Climate Strike protesters at University of Michigan sit-in. MLive Article
  • March, 2019: Students walk out of school to mark global Youth Climate Strike in Ann Arbor. ClickonDetroit Article
  • October, 2018: President Schlissel says U-M is pursuing a path to carbon neutrality and intends to engage broader community on same path. University article here. 
  • February 2017: The university sees progress in four areas of sustainability: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments, and community engagement. Michigan Daily Article.
  • April, 2016: 2015 Sustainability Report shows slow progress. Michigan Daily Article.
  • December, 2015: Students and faculty are united for divestment. The administration is not. Michigan Daily Article
  • October, 2015: Rally calls on students to address climate change. Rally organized by the University’s chapter of Know Tomorrow, a student-led campaign launched by Cool Globes, a national nonprofit organization working to raise awareness and spur action on climate change. Michigan Daily Article
  • March, 2015: Students attend Teach-In to rally to support divestment from fossil fuels. Teach-In led by Amy Goodman, the host and producer of independent public news program, “Democracy Now!”. Michigan Daily Article
  • March, 2015: CSG proposes committee for fossil fuel divestment. Michigan Daily Article
  • February, 2015: Students rally for fossil fuel divestment. Michigan Daily Article. 
  • March, 2013: The university has $900 million in fossil fuels. Student group wants to rid endowment of investments in fossil fuels. Michigan Daily Article
  • March, 2013: representatives of the LSA Student Government voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution supporting divestment from fossil-fuel-industry financial assets. Unfortunately, just one day earlier, the Central Student Government failed to pass the same resolution. Michigan Daily Article.
  • January, 2012: University releases annual sustainability report. Total greenhouse gas emissions increased 7.5 percent from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2011. Michigan Daily Article.
  • November, 2010: President Mary Sue Coleman launches Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment. Michigan Daily Article.
  • September, 2011: President Mary Sue Coleman outlines new university sustainability goals. Michigan Daily Article. Goals found here. 
  • February 2010: University President Mary Sue Coleman declines to join the The American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Michigan Daily Article.
  • February, 2010: the university launches the Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program with the help of the Graham Institute, which is focused on a sustainable campus. Michigan Daily Article. Program found here.
  • March, 2009: University "Power Down" competition to encourage students and faculty to switch to their computers to power saving mode. Michigan Daily Article
  • September, 2008: Granholm pushes alternative energy in speech at Law School.
  • May, 2007: The University's School of Natural Resources and Environment hosts a national summit for anybody from policymakers to environment experts to address methods of coping with climate change. Michigan Daily Article
  • April, 2007: Step It Up grassroots campaign organized rally that brought 1,400 people together to advocate for climate action on the National Day of Climate Action. Michigan Daily Article.