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Welcome to the website for It All Adds Up, the University of Minnesota’s sustainability campaign. Here at the U, we strive to make sustainability accessible to all students, staff, and community members.

I’d love to make a difference
but what exactly is “sustainability?”

Sustainability is not a passing trend. Sustainability is the actions, behavior, and development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

OKAY, BUT HOW DO I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

It all adds up. Do you turn off the lights when you leave the room? What about recycling your old class notes instead of throwing them away? Bike or take the bus instead of driving? Sure, maybe these don’t seem like they can save our planet on their own. But if we all make active decisions to change the little things, we are one step closer to conserving our natural resources and ensuring a healthier, more equal, and sustainable life for all.

Why sustainability?

earthSustainability can and should be accessible to everyone. On campus and in our community, there are many ways to get involved. Not everyone has to join a group or go to a Climate March, but you can switch out a plastic water bottle with a reusable one. Sustainable practices are also healthy and safe! Biking and walking instead of driving keeps you healthy and decreases the amount of CO2 released into our air. The less excess CO2, the better and healthier the air quality for us. Being sustainable also saves money: and that’s important for students on a budget. Turning out your lights or refraining from blasting your AC in the summer not only helps our Earth by cutting down coal demand, but saves you every month on your bill!

Get Involved!

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Campus Groups

There are many student groups on campus that work on community and campus initiatives.

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Living Lab

Apply to use unused campus spaces as your own sustainable laboratory! 

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Take a Class

Enroll in ESPM 3011W or SUST 4004 and work directly with our office! For more options, check out Sustainability Education.

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Volunteer

Find opportunities at the West Bank Community Garden, Farmers Market, and more! 

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Explore

Follow the Sustainability Walking Tour around campus!

Students walking

Small Steps

Remember the little things! Check out our list of easy ways to be sustainable every day. 

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Promote Sustainability

Order free sustainability posters and stickers that can decorate your office, res hall, or classroom!

Learning at TCF

Learn More

Read up on our past reports and commitments as the Office of Sustainability.

Swellness Page

Get Swell

Employees, students, and staff can get rewarded for engaging in sustainable activities. 

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  • Our Sustainability Story

    The University of Minnesota Office of Sustainability and the educational campaign It All Adds Up provides direction and coordination for sustainability initiatives in the Twin Cities. We are committed to reaching our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 through inclusive projects, cross-campus planning, partnerships, and working with the greater community.

    Our goal is to create a culture of sustainable practices. We organize zero waste events at TCF Stadium and collaborate with departments on campus to retrofit buildings that reduce our carbon output.

  • We take pride in our ability to listen to students, staff, community members, and other stakeholders. Our office and efforts are not isolated.We invite everybody to join the conversation! It is key to our mission to remain accountable to the residents of the Twin Cities and include the broader campus community as we create a positive environmental impact.

    Our Vision

    In 2009, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents adopted a policy on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, stating:

    “Sustainability is a continuous effort integrating environmental, social, and economic goals through design, planning, and operational organization to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The University is committed to incorporating sustainability into its teaching, research, and outreach and the operations that support them.”

     

  • History

    2004: Regents of the University of Minnesota adopts a policy on Sustainability

    2006: Institute on the Environment Formed

    2008: Former President Robert Bruiniks signs American Universities and Colleges Presidents Climate Commitment

    2008: Systemwide Goals and Outcomes committee formed

    2009: University of Minnesota Systemwide Sustainability Goals, Outcomes, Measures, and Process report released, highlighting the commitment to sustainability.

    2010: Standing sustainability committees formed on all campus

    2010: “It All Adds Up” campaign is expanded to include recycling and waste reduction

  • 2011: Climate Action Plan Released, outlining strategies that will most effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.The sustainability committee developed a plan for cutting UMTC emissions in half by 2021 and reducing them to zero by 2050.

    2012: Living Lab program established

    2012: Boreas Graduate Leadership Program launched, which provides graduate students will skills to be effective environmental leaders.

    2015: UMTC hosts the annual Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference.

    2015: President Eric Kaler signs the White House Act on Climate Agreement, with hundreds of other higher education leaders, reaffirming the University’s commitment to address climate change.

    2016: University of Minnesota partners with Cupanion Rewards to reduce waste on campus.

Organics Involvement

April 22, 2019

As you may remember from our last blog, we have been talking about organics recycling lately. Last week we discussed the changes that the University of Minnesota has been undergoing recently to make organics recycling more widespread across campus. So how can the members of the campus community get involved?Their goal is to rollout organics collection bins to 180+ buildings on the Twin Cities campus by October 2020. You can read the full story here on our blog!

 

Read more...

Spring Semester Updates

January 23, 2019

It’s a new semester Gophers and there are more opportunities than ever to get involved with sustainability on campus! The Office of Sustainability has exciting new initiatives along with the continuation of pre-existing programs that any student, staff or faculty member can get involved with. Check out what the upcoming semester looks like. 

Read more...

Sustainable (and Award-Winning) Delivery!

January 9, 2019

U Market Services, the department who manages the bulk of deliveries on campus, was recently honored for its sustainable delivery efforts.

Read more...

WHO WE ARE

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Shane Stennes

Director of Sustainability

Abbi Brokaw
Abbi Brokaw

Social Media Manager

rachellemire
Rachel LeMire

Communications

ben
Ben Lifson

Graphic Designer

PARTNERS

Todd Tanner Pic
Todd Tanner

U of M ReUse Program Coordinator

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Leah Isbell

Admin Coordinator, U Market Services

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Julie Rantala

Environmental Compliance Specialist

Cathy
Cathy Abene

Principal Civil Engineer

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Tom Ritzer

University Landscape Architect, Landcare

Beth Mercer-Taylor
Beth Mercer-Taylor

Sustainability Education Coordinator, Twin Cities

Steve Sanders
Steve Sanders

Alternate Transportation Manager, Twin Cities

Mindy Granley
Mindy Granley

Sustainability Director, University of Minnesota Duluth

Troy Goodnough
Troy Goodnough

Sustainability Director, University of Minnesota Morris

Barry Standorf
Barry Standorf

Sustainability Coordinator, University of Minnesota Rochester

Ahnika
Ahnika Hesbjerg

Organics Rollout Green Corps Member

elizabeth
Elizabeth Logas-Lindstrom

Recycling Coordinator

Allison
Allison Sawyer

Organics Roll Out Coordinator