Welcome, new and returning students!

Check out our tips for being a more sustainable Gopher on campus.

Check it out

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.


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!


Campus Groups

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


Living Lab

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


Take a Class

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



Follow the Sustainability Walking Tour around campus!

It All Adds Up

Sustainability Tips for New and Returning Gophers

Remember the little things! Check out our list of easy ways to get started and be a more sustainable Gopher every day.


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 and learn more about sustainability efforts on campus with video teaching modules.



The Ecolab Experiential Education Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates to participate in learning abroad courses, unpaid internships, and student-initiated leadership projects.

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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.


Shane Stennes

Director of Sustainability
+1 612 626 2588

Carley Rice
Carley Rice

Sustainability Coordinator

Hannah Lauber

Communications Associate

Rachel LeMire

+1 612 624 3285

Zaylie Ledermann

Sustainability Intern
+1 612 624 3285


Todd Tanner Pic
Todd Tanner

U of M ReUse Program Coordinator
+1 612 625 6874

Leah Isbell

Admin Coordinator, U Market Services
+1 612 625 8900

Cathy Abene

Principal Civil Engineer
+1 612 626 3547

Beth Mercer-Taylor
Beth Mercer-Taylor

Sustainability Education Coordinator, Twin Cities
+1 612 624 9430

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Tom Ritzer

University Landscape Architect, Landcare
+1 612 624 8225

Steve Sanders
Steve Sanders

Alternate Transportation Manager, Twin Cities
+1 612 625 1333

Troy Goodnough
Troy Goodnough

Sustainability Director, University of Minnesota Morris
+1 320 589 6303

Barry Standorf
Barry Standorf

Sustainability Coordinator, University of Minnesota Rochester
+1 507 258 8217

Elizabeth Logas-Lindstrom

Recycling Coordinator
+1 612 625 8084

Allison Sawyer

Organics Roll Out Coordinator
+1 612 363 6134