The University of Michigan carries a long legacy in environmentalism and sustainability; from its role in the first “Teach-In on the Environment,” which manifested into Earth Day, to its pioneering of Environmental Justice as an academic discipline. With climate change as a dynamic challenge — not one that can be addressed once and walked away from — sustainability requires broad and sustained buy-in. U-M, as the nation’s largest public research institution, is applying cutting-edge practices, learning from and leading the way for other like-minded institutions in pursuit of a more sustainable world.
In May 2021, following the release of the final report of the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality, U-M committed to achieving carbon neutrality university-wide, encompassing the Flint, Dearborn and Ann Arbor campuses, as well as Athletics and Michigan Medicine. Commitments build on the work of the carbon neutrality commission, which was convened in February 2019, and cover emissions reduction strategies as well as organizational steps to ensure a culture of sustainability is in place across the university.
In addition to the recently announced carbon neutrality goals, U-M continues to progress toward its 2025 Sustainability Goals, established by President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman in 2011 with guidance from U-M students, staff and faculty. 2025 Sustainability Goals cover the Ann Arbor campus in the areas of climate action, waste reduction, healthy environments and community engagement.