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!
2015 EMISSIONS: UM MEETS GOAL, RELEASES REPORT
The University of Montana announced yesterday in its annual sustainability report card that it has successfully met its 2015 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. As a 2007 charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), UM established interim emissions reduction goals leading up to its 2020 carbon neutrality target. The first of these goals is to reduce campus wide emissions 10% below 2007 emissions levels by 2015, a target it has successfully reached.
UM's most recent GHG inventory, completed in January 2015, reveals that UM has successfully decreased its emissions (metric tonnes equivalent of CO2) by 8.5%! This decrease is almost entirely due to energy efficiency projects in campus buildings and the resulting reduction in purchased electricity by the university. For more information on the assessment and results, check out the 2013/2014 GHG Inventory and Summary.
Read the full announcement.
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!
2014-2015: MEET THE ECO REPS
Applying sustainability concepts and practices in UM's residence halls has been the focus of student efforts for several years. This year marks the second year that UM Eco Reps will be compensated for their work in the residence halls thanks to the our student sustainability fee. Last year, four committed students worked in Knowles, Miller, and Duniway Halls. This year the Kless Revolving Energy Loan Fund will support 5 student sustainability advocates who will work in Knowles, Turner, Pantzer, Miller, and Duniway Halls.
Meet our new Eco Reps and learn more about sustainability in UM's residence halls!