Implementation Profile for University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Submitted on July 27, 2008; last updated on August 22, 2012
|Basic Carnegie Classification||RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity)|
|Community Setting||Large city|
|USDOE Climate Zone||1|
|Current President or Chancellor's Name||Eric W Kaler|
|Current President or Chancellor's Title||President|
|Main Web Site||http://www.umn.edu/|
|Sustainability Web Site||http://portal.environment.umn.edu/|
|Implementation Liaison's Name||Amy Short|
|Implementation Liaison's Title||Sustainability Director|
|Implementation Liaison's Department||Office of the Vice President, University Services|
|Format of Structure||Committee|
|Number of Individuals in Structure||36|
|Stakeholder Groups Represented||Faculty, Students, Executive, Community Members, Staff|
In early 2008, President Robert Bruininks established the University of Minnesota (U-Wide) Sustainability Goals and Outcomes Committee to recommend sustainability goals and performance measures that align with guiding principles of the Board of Regents policy on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency (2004). The committee was comprised of members representing academics, operations, finance and students and with representation from each campus. The committee was co-chaired by Vice President Kathleen O’Brien and Dr. Deborah Swackhamer, Charles M. Denny Chair of Science, Technology , and Public Policy, Humphrey and Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health. Vice President O'Brien was given official capacity by President Bruininks to oversee University sustainability efforts, including the Presidents’ Climate commitment. The goals process included stakeholder input by the University community.
In 2010, following the completion of the work of the Goals and Outcomes Committee, a Twin Cities Campus Sustainability Committee was formed by President Bruininks to implement the goals and also the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The committee is co-chaired by Mike Berthelsen, Associate Vice President Facilities Management and Dr. Emily Hoover, Professor and Head, Department of Horticulture Science. In 2010, the co-chairs charged the following subcommittees to focus on metrics implementation and developing a climate action plan: Research, Energy and Operations, and Education and Outreach. The committee and subcommittee membership includes faculty, staff and students. The charge letter and details about the work of the committee and the climate action planning process is found at the committee webpage. Ideas for implementing the climate action plan may also be submitted at the webpage: http://www.sustaintc.umn.edu/
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Sustainability Committee combined with University Services Office of the Vice President Sustainability Office combine to be the institutional structure for implementing the ACUPCC.
1. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent.
No: The University follows the State of Minnesota's Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3/MN 2030) which is a performance based standard that adapts LEED building energy policy to specific regional issues, resulting in the appx equivalent of a LEED Certification.
2. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
No: No information provided.
3. Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.
No: No information provided.
4. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.
Yes: The University of Minnesota Transportation program is a leader in the country and has received numerous state and national awards since it began promoting alternative transportation in the 1980s. The UPASS program provides students with unlimited public bus access with over 50% savings and use has increased 148% in 7 years. There are more than 6 miles of bike paths and lanes throughout Twin Cities Campus, a system which connects to the city/regional network. Free campus shuttles are available and a hybrid bus is being purchased in the Fall 2008. Zipcar is also available. Over 60% of trips to campus by students, faculty and staff are made in transportation other than automobile. http://www1.umn.edu/pts/
5. Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources.
No: Electricity for the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus is purchased from Xcel Energy, a public utility. Only 1% of Xcel's electrical energy is sold as wind energy. Wind makes up about 7% of Xcel's energy produced in Minnesota. The University is investigating options with Xcel Energy to purchase wind power. Currently Xcel charges a premium for wind energy and is not able to supply more than about 10% of the campus load from wind. Funds are currently not available for the increased cost. The State of Minnesota is a closed market so the University can only purchase electricity from Xcel. The Twin cities campus has completed a study to site wind energy on campus, however, there is not sufficient wind energy to justify tower installation. Neighborhood impacts were identified as a concern.
6. Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.
No: No information provided.
7. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.
The University of Minnesota participated in Recyclemania in 2008 and will participate in the waste minimization component as part of our tangible measures. The University of Minnesota current programs also meet or exceed several tangible measures including: