UMSI goes platinum for sustainability efforts

Dean Thomas Finholt accepts the Planet Blue Platinum award from Nicole Berg, a representative of the university's Office of Campus Sustainability.

The School of Information is the first school at the University of Michigan to receive the Platinum Award bestowed by Planet Blue, the university’s sustainability initiative. The school had achieved Silver status in 2014 and Gold status in 2015.

The award was presented to Dean Thomas Finholt by Nicole Berg, on behalf of the Office of Campus Sustainability, at the school’s monthly staff meeting on August 2, 2016. The meeting included a session on Planet Blue Ambassador Training.

Among the school’s sustainability activities which contributed toward Platinum status were:
•    Installation of bottle refill appliances on drinking fountains at North Quad.
•    Cancellation of unused and duplicate periodicals
•    Elimination of disposable cups in lounges and replacement with reusable mugs
•    Multiple “bring your own mug” incentives/mug donation promotions
•    Purchase of large water dispensers to reduce use of bottled water at events
•    Addition of sustainability training to new onboarding processes
•    Enabling sleep mode/default settings on computers and printers
•    Installation of hallway light timers
•    Posting of signs on recycling bins
•    Purchase of recycled paper
•    Printers set to default to double-sided printing
•    Purchase of rechargeable batteries
•    Completion of Planet Blue Ambassador Training by over 50% of the school staff

Planet Blue itself was recognized recently by a national organization, the APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities, with its own Sustainability Award. U-M was one of eight institutions to earn this honor in 2016. The APPA is the nation’s primary organization for the management of educational facilities, with over 1,300 members.

The university’s efforts included recycling and waste reduction, alternative transportation options, energy conservation and the sustainable construction of new facilities.

Posted August 3, 2016