New Sustainable Foods Minor

Introduced fall 2014 and offered through the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, the “Food Systems Minor” is an interdisciplinary program with courses addressing questions of food production, consumption, and policy in relation to the environment, human health and equity. The minor is designed for students with a keen interest in expanding their study of sustainable and equitable ways to produce and deliver nutritious food to improve people’s health and livelihoods.

Graham Undergrad Sustainability Scholars

Top performing undergraduates from across the university come together through this sustainability leadership program that has impacted 127 students to date. As part of the 9-credit leadership-development program, Scholars take the hands-on “Sustainability and the Campus” class, whereby they plan and implement practical sustainability projects for the U-M campus. Projects in 2014 included implementation of a composting program at Matthaei Botanical Gardens with compostable materials sourced from East Quad, evaluation of U-M’s sustainable food purchasing guidelines and researching how many old growth sequoia trees would be required to offset U-M’s carbon footprint.

Image of interactive map

Photo: Dave Brenner

Dow Sustainability Fellowship Program

After only two years of activity, the program is proving to be an innovative learning platform and a tremendous success. The Dow Sustainability Fellows program has brought on more than 100 fellows at the Masters/Professional, Doctoral and Post-doctoral levels, and dozens more U-M students have been supported through the Distinguished Awards competition. Issues tackled by the fellows fall under the university’s sustainability research themes of water, climate change and livable communities.

96 number of Dow Sustainability Fellows supported in FY14

74% of U-M Schools/Colleges have participated in the Dow Sustainability Fellows program to date

Award-Winning Ideas

Three teams of U-M students received Dow Distinguished Awards for sustainability projects that cut across disciplines and academic levels.

Two were in India addressing sustainable technology and the desilting of irrigation ponds, and one explored aquaponics for sustainable food production in rural El Salvador.

Nespresso Worldwide Challenge

Students from the Ross School of Business won the 2014 Nespresso Sustainability MBA Challenge, defeating finalists from the Yale School of Management and Rollins School of Business, along with 59 other competing teams from 19 different countries. The teams were asked to develop creative solutions to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the company’s coffee production in Latin America in an effort to reduce the effects such emissions have on global climate change. The winning U-M Students joined Nespresso on a week-long trip to one of the company’s strategic sourcing countries to visit coffee farms and see how their suggestions could be put into place with the realities on the ground.