Welcome to UM Sustainability
Consistent with the broader concept of sustainability, the University's initiatives ultimately seek to enhance students' understanding of the interconnectedness of ecological, social, and economic issues. Sustainable UM represents the University of Montana's ongoing efforts to become socially and environmentally sustainable in our operations, classrooms, and facilities. Sustainability has been integrated into many aspects of our campus community and we strive to connect our understanding of sustainability to our lives both on and off campus. The UM Office of Sustainability and the ASUM Sustainability Center are responsible for the content of this site.
We appreciate your interest in UM's sustainability and always welcome comments and feedback!
CHECK OUT OUR 2018 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
Many individuals, departments, and program across campus contribute to our collective sustainability accomplishments. Check out our 2018 Sustainability Report to see what we did this year.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CAMPUS THRIFT!
Springtime means graduation, graduation means students moving out of the residence halls, and Move Out Week means TONS of discarded clothes, bedding, school supplies, and mini fridges! To divert all this unwanted stuff from the landfill, UM has organized Campus Thrift, a week-long collection of donated items followed by a big thrift sale, for the last three years.
Collection days on campus will be Thursday, May 10 through noon on Saturday, May 12. The Office of Sustainability, UM Housing, and the ASUM Renter Center will have 4 collection sites staffed with volunteers and will accept bedding, clothes, school supplies, small appliances, unopended nonperishable food, and other dorm room accessories. We do NOT accept large furniture, books, cleaning products, or broken mini fridges.
This event relies on many volunteers to staff collection sites, sort donated items, and run the sale on Wednesday, May 16, 9am-2pm in Schreiber Gym. If you would like to volunteer to help, please use the following Google form to indicate your availability. Our event coordinators will be in touch with your schedule and training.
STUDENT, GARDEN MANAGER RECEIVE AWARDS
In celebration of Earth Week each spring, the Sustainable Campus Committee recognizes students, faculty, and staff on campus doing exceptional work to support a growing culture of sustainability at UM. Casey Brandon, a student studying environmental and climate change studies, and Stasia Orkwiszewski, UM Dining's garden manager, received awards this year.
The awards were presented alongside UM Dining's first student sustainability scholarship and the annual sustainability report at a lunchtime gathering at the Davidson Honors College on Thursday, April 19.
STARS: UM FIRST ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION RECIPIENT
In Spring 2014, the University of Montana participated for the first time in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The tool helped guide a holistic assessment of UM's sustainability efforts that includes our greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the identification of sustainability-focused and -related courses, how UM addresses diversity on campus, sustainability in our planning and budgeting processes, and much more.
During the Fall 2012 semester, UM students collected much of the data that was included in the final STARS report, which was submitted in March 2014. We are proud to announce that the University of Montana received a Silver rating for our sustainability work and is the first university in our region to participate in this reporting process.
Find out more about STARS and what it means to participate in this rating system.
UM ENGAGEMENT: CAMPUS CLIMATE CONVERSATIONS
"This gathering was great! It should be an annual thing...we need more campus discussions like this. It's an excellent use of the brain power that exists at UM on a relevant and exciting topic." -- October 2014 Conversation participant
And so the tradition of Campus Conversations continues! On October 30, 2014, UM sustainability partners organized a third on-campus conversation focused on the topic of carbon offsets and their role in helping UM meet our carbon neutrality commitment. Faculty, staff, and students attended the event, which had 75 participants total, and discussed potential offset fundraising strategies, policy recommendations, and types of offsets UM may purchase in the future.
After compiling notes from each table's discussions and survey data from participants, the event organizers synthesized themes and highlights to create a Summary Report. You can view that report HERE.
UM's campus conversations have been very successful at engaging diverse members of our campus community and generating energy and ideas to further UM's sustainability work. Sustainability partners are currently planning a 4th Campus Conversation set for April 20, 2015. Stay tuned for more information!