On Tuesday, the University of Michigan released its Sustainability Progress Report, which provides data on the University’s progress toward its campus sustainability goals for 2025. The report includes updates within the categories of climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community engagement.
In the area of climate action, the University has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent and hopes to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2025. The University has also cut vehicle carbon output by 15 percent, halfway toward its goal of 30 percent by 2025.
In terms of waste prevention, the University aims to decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills by 40 percent by 2025 and has done so by 3 percent.
The University has met its goal of reducing chemical applications on campus landscapes by 40 percent and protecting the Huron River through stormwater control strategies. The University largely switched from using synthetic fertilizers to organic, which now account for 75 percent of fertilizers used by Grounds Services.
There has also been progress made toward purchasing 20 percent of food from local and sustainable sources by 2025, currently purchasing 14 percent of food from these sources.
Outside of its stated goals, Planet Blue has been piloting programs such as a composting program in the Fleming Administration Building, as well hosting large-scale, waste-free events such as the MStaff200, a bicentennial celebration event, and the football game against Rutgers University.
A few additional highlights of the 2017 Sustainability Progress Report include the University reaching a 34 percent waste-diversion rate, recycling more than 5,200 tons and composting nearly 1,400 tons through efforts across campus.
“The success of Planet Blue would not be possible without a universitywide commitment to ensuring that future generations will inherit a sustainable and verdant planet,” University President Mark Schlissel said in a University press release.