Monday Minute, November 1, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Minnesota received a straight-A grade from The College Sustainability Report Card this past week, one of only three campuses in the country awarded a perfect score. (Brown University and Dickinson College were the other two.)

The report card lauded our sustainability policy, energy conservation, food recycling, green buildings, student involvement, alternative-fuel vehicles, and sustainability investments -- a recognition that reinforces the aspiration of the University to be a top-three institution nationally.

Many people in this college have served on the various sustainability committees over the last few years, and we stand poised to advance the efforts of the University even further with the recent receipt of a three-year grant from the Provost's office.

A team that includes Lance Neckar and Barry Lehrman from Landscape Architecture and Mary Guzowski and Loren Abraham from Architecture will work with Orlyn Miller in capital planning and project management to seek campus design solutions that reduce energy and water use and greenhouse-gas emissions to a net-zero or even a net-positive position.

This effort, known as the Zero+ Campus Design Project, will provide a model of how the academic and operational sides of the University can work together to achieve significant results and it will, no doubt, boost the University's already stellar performance as a sustainability leader. Watch for the results of their work on campus over the next few years.