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Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition

The Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition (MSSC) is a state-wide student network with a vision to unify the voice of a generation in environmental solidarity. Since 2011, the MSSC and the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology have been working together to ensure that the MSSC has the ability to employ a coordinator and engage in funding opportunities.

MSSC photo

Through the generous grants from the RE-AMP Coalition, we have been able to mobilize hundreds of students from across the state to take part in the most pressing climate issues, including: working to increase Michigan's Renewable Energy Standard, stopping dirty extraction practices such as tar sands and fracking and attend rally's and conferences focused on bringing these issues to the forefront of our political system.

In addition to ensuring students from across the state are involved in off-campus efforts for a more just and sustainable future, we also wanted to provide a website space to highlight the sustainability efforts on higher education institutions across the state of Michigan.

The following website is dedicated to the following:

This Online Road Map showcases 10 Michigan Higher Education Institutions and evaluates their campus sustainability and clean energy efforts. It intends to give students access to information about their campus and other campuses in the state in order to see how they compare to their peer institutions, with the idea that knowledge is power. We want students to feel empowered to push their administration to become the most sustainable campus possible.

No campus in Michigan is using 100% renewable energy, but Western Michigan University and University of Michigan have increased their goals and efforts recently, which is exciting to see.

Highlighted Campuses

Aquinas College

Aquinas College's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

Aquinas is doing some great campus sustainability initiatives. In fact they have started a No Idling Policy for cars and a Re-Think Transportation campaign. They also have signed the ACUPCC and are trying to make their campus as sustainable as possible.

Check out a few of their links for more information:

Sustainability Website and their Campus Sustainability Inventory

Sustainability Committee Information

Community Garden and Creative Dining Service Program

Areas For Improvement

  • Investing in Renewable Energy

Central Michigan University

CMU's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

CMU does not have an office but they have the Great Lakes Institute for Sustainable Systems

CMU has a great Biennial Sustainability Report with lots of great information about their sustainability efforts

Their Dining Halls are trying to be more sustainable

Areas for Improvement:

  • Continued investment in renewable energy
  • Develop an Office of Sustainability
  • Increase exposure of sustainability efforts more prominently

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

Although EMU was named a 2012 top eco-friendly campus, it is very hard to find out what they are doing as it relates to sustainability. Without a central sustainability website, it is not clear where to find their sustainability related efforts.

Areas of Improvement

  • Develop a sustainability website
  • Invest in renewable energy, not just natural gas substitutions
  • Increase student involvement in sustainability efforts

Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

GVSU is doing great as it relates to sustainability. In fact, they are one of the top campuses in Michigan. Not only do they have a great website that clearly articulates their sustainability efforts, they are doing work in all sustainability areas- operations, curriculum and student involvement.

GVSU Sustainability Website

Great Funding Opportunities for Students wanting to do sustainability efforts on campus

GVSU Sustainability Awards

Areas of Improvement

  • Continued investment in Renewable Energy

Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

Environmental Responsibility is at the core of Kalamazoo College’s Mission. This is a critically important step for all college’s to take. Once sustainability is a key component of a campus’s mission or guiding principles then all other sustainability efforts seem to take shape.

Summer Student Campus Climate Fellowships is a unique opportunity for students at K-College

K-College involves all members of the campus community in their sustainability efforts

Areas of Improvement

  • Increased renewable energy investment
  • Further integration of sustainability across the curriculum

Michigan State University

Michigan State University's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

MSU has taken their colors and turned them into a great motto: Be Spartan Green! They have a unique website that allows for campus community members to share new green ideas. They have also embarked on campus/community wide Energy Transition Plan- which even though the plan itself has sparked some debate, it did a pretty good job being inclusive and transparent. As the plan takes shape, they have developed a great fact sheet that discusses how this plan is being implemented.

MSU is one of the only Michigan schools that is a member of STARS. They have received a silver rating

They are doing a great job integrating sustainability issues across the curriculum

Interactive Sustainability Learning Games about MSU

Areas of Improvement

  • Increased investment in renewable energy
  • Continue to engage the campus community in all sustainability efforts

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

NMU is doing a great job in recycling. They recycle most items, including batteries, fluorescent lamps, and many other items. They have also integrated sustainability into their strategic plan, with a goal of “being a model community for sustainable education and practices”

Housing and Residential Life has a good sustainability page

Their art and design program is doing some cool stuff with eco-design

Areas for Improvement

  • Invest in renewable energy
  • Engage students in more sustainability efforts
  • Develop a sustainability/ climate action plan

University of Michigan

University of Michigan's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

The University of Michigan has an Office of Sustainability and they also have the Graham Institute for Sustainability . UM is doing a lot as it relates to sustainability. And although they have not made any formal commitments, such as with the American Colleges and Presidents Climate Commitment, they continually produce sustainability reports and have goals for reducing emissions and waste.

Michigan has a 42 bottle refill stations on campus- that’s a lot!

More than 600 courses integrate sustainability into their curriculum

U-M Community members can become a Planet Blue Ambassador

Very cool interactive sustainability map

Areas for Improvement

  • Further investment in renewable energy
  • Reach a wider cadre of students, so as to further institute sustainability into the culture

Wayne State University

Wayne State University's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

WSU is in a unique position- located in the heart of Midtown Detroit. The Office of Sustainability opened in 2011 with the hope of elevating sustainability on this urban campus. All new buildings or major renovations must meet LEED standards.

President appointed 28 person committee to tackle sustainability efforts

Energy Conservation is key to WSU greening efforts

A large number of courses have a sustainability focus

Areas for Improvement

  • Student engagement needs to increase at WSU
  • Investment in Renewable energy
  • Improved metrics and goals around sustainability

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University's Key Sustainability Initiatives and Web Links

WMU is a great example of how an Office of Sustainability can create a culture of sustainability on a campus. Their website houses everything related to sustainability and is updated regularly. They have strong sustainability and climate action goals and are committed to meeting these goals.

Students can access grant funds for sustainability projects

Faculty – driven sustainabilty across the curriculum efforts – Sustainability Across Research and Teaching (StART)

A great site with all their reports and publications

Areas for Improvement

  • Increased Renewable Energy- reach that carbon neutral goal

 

A Quick Comparison

To view the document in PDF format: A Comparison of MI Campus Sustainability

Aquinas College

Central Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University

Grand Valley State University

Kalamazoo College

Office of Sustainability

*

*

Sustainability Staff

*

*

*

*

Investment in Renewable Energy Infrastructure

*

*

*

Sustainable Energy Policy or Reduction Efforts

*

*

*

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

*

*(Not public)

*

*

Climate Action / Sustainability Plan

*

*

Signed the ACUPCC

*

*

*

Sustainability Committee

*

*

*

*

Local Sustainable Food Efforts

*

*

*

*

Sustainable Transportation Efforts

*

*

*

Integrating Sustainability into the Curriculum

*

*

*

*

*

Waste Management Strategies

*

*

*

*

Active Student Environmental Groups

*

*

*

*

*

Michigan State University

Northern Michigan University

University of Michigan

Wayne State Michigan

Western Michigan University

Office of Sustainability

*

*

*

*

Sustainability Staff

*

*

*

*

*

Investment in Renewable Energy Infrastructure

*

*

*

Sustainable Energy Policy or Reduction Efforts

*

*

*

*

*

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

*

*

*

Climate Action / Sustainability Plan

*

*

*

*

Signed the ACUPCC

*

Sustainability Committee

*

*

*

*

Local Sustainable Food Efforts

*

*

*

Sustainable Transportation Efforts

*

*

*

*

Integrating Sustainability into the Curriculum

*

*

*

*

*

Waste Management Strategies

*

*

*

*

*

Active Student Environmental Groups

*

*

*

*

 

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