University of Minnesota
Environment & Sustainability Portal
Environment and Sustainability Portal

University Leadership

The University of Minnesota promotes and demonstrates environmental stewardship, sustainability and energy efficiency through research, education, outreach and operations. The 2009 University of Minnesota Systemwide Sustainability: Goals, Outcomes, Measures, Process  Report presents goals to incorporate sustainability across the university’s mission.  A committee structure is in place to implement the goals and Campus Master Plans incorporate sustainability.

In 2011 and 2010 the U of M was named a Campus Sustainability Leader and received the highest grade awarded for sustainability by the College Sustainability Report Card.  In 2009, the Clean Energy Resource Teams of the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships received the Champions of Sustainability in Communities award.


University-Wide Policies

Board of Regents Policy on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

The policy adopted July 9, 2004 states that … Through excellence in environmental education, research, outreach and stewardship, the University shall strive to be a world leader by promoting and demonstrating sustainability and energy efficiency and by producing leaders and informed citizens.

Energy Supplies Administrative Policy

The University strives to optimize management, procurement and distribution of energy guided by a principle of environmental stewardship to minimize emissions and overall energy consumption.

Environmental Management Administrative Policy

University activities and facilities significantly impact land, air, water, natural resources and public health. The University is committed to the protection of these resources in all its activities and at all stages of acquisition, design, development and operation of its campus facilities.

Purchasing Services Sustainability Policy

Leverages buyer power and supplier relationships to encourage and increase purchasing that reflects the University's commitment to sustainability and promote environmental factors.

University-Wide Commitments

American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)

The ACUPCC is an institutional commitment to model leadership by example – to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations, to encourage research and educational efforts regarding the earth’s climate.  President Bruininks signed the ACUPCC in 2008 for the University system.

Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking and Reporting System ( AASHE STARS)

The University of Minnesota is a Charter Participant in this innovative, voluntary self-reporting framework launched in 2010 for colleges and universities to gauge progress toward sustainability

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)

The University of Minnesota has joined and exceeded reduction targets for the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, legally binding pilot program for reducing and trading greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The University was the fourth educational institution and largest public research university to join.


Twin Cities

Sustainability and U

Sustainability and U provides a snapshot of the leadership, modeling, operational improvements, energy efficiency, research and outreach efforts underway on the Twin Cities campus and beyond.

It All Adds Up

The extensive energy efficiency program was designed to reduce and optimize energy use. The initial 5% reduction goal for 2010 was met ahead of target and 10,000 pledges to conserve energy were obtained.  New goals to increase recycling by 5% were launched on Beautiful U Day 2010.

U of M-Twin Cities Sustainability Committee

This commitee is charged with guiding implementation of the policy and recently developed goals for sustainability on the Twin Cities campus.



UMC Sustainability Committee

The University of Minnesota, Crookston, Sustainability Committee is charged with providing overall leadership for sustainability while at the same time encouraging broad participation from across the campus, community and region.

Crookston Sustainability

Sustainability initiatives and resources are available to the campus community. Crookston Students for Sustainable Development provide leadership to exploring collaborative sustainability initiatives.



UMD Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability and the UMD campus are committed to communicating, educating and inspiring action to integrate sustainability into all aspects of campus life.

Adding Up to Zero

The Adding Up to Zero blog keeps people in touch with sustainability news and efforts at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.



A Green Campus

The University of Minnesota, Morris, has advanced sustainable, environmentally friendly initiatives since the original Earth Day. Since 2000, these efforts have grown to levels of national leadership and touch nearly all aspects of campus life, including power, food, water, transportation, waste stream infrastructure, academic study and quality of life.

Green Power Leadership Club

In the October 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized UMM as a new member of the Green Power Leadership Club. Leadership Club awards recognize outstanding commitments and achievements in green power.

Higher Education Steering Committee

The University of Minnesota, Morris, joined 25 institutions nationwide in creating a national higher education steering committee on renewable energy.

Positive Energy

UMN-Morris Wind Turbine

The first large-scale wind turbine ever constructed at a U.S. public university is located at the University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center. Thanks to this investment, wind power supplies up to 60 percent of the electricity needs of the University of Minnesota, Morris.