UMD is a Sierra Club "Cool School"

Bagley Outdoor Classroom
September 1, 2016

UMD named a Sierra Club "Cool School."

UMD is serious about sustainability and the Sierra Club has noticed. Among other goals, the campus aims to achieve a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020. 

The University of Minnesota Duluth has once again been named a "Cool School" on the Sierra Club's List of The Top 100 Green Schools. The list recognizes educational institutions and individuals across the country that demonstrate new and innovative approaches to school sustainability, environmental initiatives and a commitment to leading the way in energy and environmental design. 

Sustainability has long been a priority at UMD. The UMD Office of Sustainability is committed to integrating sustainability into all aspects of campus life. Director Mindy Granley says, "It's not just one thing, it's all the things we do that add up. When you combine our research, education, outreach, and how we operate the campus, we are making a powerful impact."

Ongoing initiatives include energy efficient buildings and systems, waste elimination and alternative transportation options. UMD aims to achieve a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020, while working towards a carbon neutrality goal by the year 2050. The campus is focusing on efficiency upgrades and energy conservation strategies to reduce the campus' greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainability LogoThe campus has rain gardens and solar panels. Students can ride all of the city buses for free. New buildings are energy efficient and as older building are upgraded, energy efficiency is built into the projects. Continually, throughout the day, students, faculty, and staff recycle, conserving energy and water on campus, and carry reusable mugs and water bottles. They are encouraged to turn off lights and electronics, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.

In addition to major and minor degrees offered in environmental fields, UMD has several clubs that promote sustainable practices including the UMD Cycling Club, the Student Sustainability Coalition, Clean Snowmobile Club, Environmental Science club, and the Sustainable Agriculture Project.

Granley says, "We're proud to make the Sierra Club list again. I'm proud of our campus. We prove that even little things add up to make a big impact."