Measuring Progress

The university employs three primary mechanisms to measure progress toward our goals: 

  1. Operational Metrics (see below)
  2. Cultural Metrics (see below)
  3. AASHE STARS participation -- The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) provides transparent reporting of sustainability performance in three broad areas: Administration, Planning, & Engagement; Education & Research; and Campus Operations. U-M currently maintains a Gold STARS rating.

Operational Metrics

The Office of Campus Sustainability monitors progress toward operational campus sustainability goals and maintains a database of 170 distinct operational metrics spanning areas such as energy, emissions, water use, land use, waste, and procurement. With data dating back to 2006, this tool provides important information to help us understand recent historical trends.

Cultural Metrics

The Graham Sustainability Institute—in partnership with the Institute for Social Research—leads the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP), which is a novel survey tool to assess sustainability knowledge, dispositions, and behaviors among campus community members. SCIP findings are shared with units throughout the university annually to inform improvements for "walking the talk" of sustainability.