Community Awareness

We will pursue stakeholder engagement, education, and evaluation strategies toward a campus-wide ethic of sustainability.


Campus has more than 2400 Planet Blue Ambassadors who have undergone training directly linked to U-M’s sustainability goals in energy, food, waste, water and community. This past year, they completed nearly 22,000 individual sustainable actions, such as using reusable water bottles or turning off their computers at night. Our water bottle initiative has provided a free Planet Blue water bottle to more than 24,000 undergraduate students. The university has over 300 water filling stations on campus for students, faculty and staff to fill up their bottles. More than 2,800 staff members are engaging in green operations through the Sustainable Workplace program.

Finally, several thousand students, faculty, and staff have completed the annual Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program survey. Survey results are being widely used to inform campus sustainability behavior and awareness initiatives.

Projects and Initiatives


Updates on the Sustainability Goals

Central Power Plant Expansion Update

The Central Power Plant (CPP) is a highly efficient, natural gas co-generation facility providing steam heat and electrical power to most Central and Medical Campus buildings. The electricity and steam are generated from energy that otherwise would be wasted. This results in an overall efficiency of 70-80 percent, which is higher than most power plants. A new 15-megawatt combustion turbine to be added to the CPP will reduce the university's overall greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 80,000 metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing more than 17,000 passenger vehicles from the road annually. Increasing our own capacity to generate electricity and reducing our dependence on coal-based power reduces our carbon footprint and brings us approximately halfway toward our university goal of reducing total emissions for the Ann Arbor campus by 25 percent.

In the fall of 2017, we introduced the project to the local community through a neighborhood outreach meeting (presentation slides) and we will hold another meeting in the near future to keep interested community members informed as the project progresses.

The project will include appropriate emissions pollution control technologies and air monitoring equipment and devices to meet permit requirements. Additional information about specific limits will be available after receipt of public input and MDEQ's review of our permit application. Noise control will be implemented to go beyond compliance with City and University noise regulations and ensure there are no perceptible changes in noise levels.

Learn more about this project.

FY18 Energy Data Shows Improvements in Energy Use per Square Foot

Over the last twelve years (FY06 to FY18), energy use per square foot has decreased by 25% in general fund buildings and by 16% university-wide due to gains in energy efficiency. Check out Building Energy Data for up-to-date details on energy use by building.