Carbon Neutrality

Our Commitment

In May 2021, the University of Michigan committed to achieving carbon neutrality university-wide. This commitment encompasses the Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses, as well as Athletics and Michigan Medicine. The term "carbon neutrality" means that the greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide and methane) put into the atmosphere are balanced out by the emissions removed from the atmosphere.

Scope 1

Eliminate direct, on-campus greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

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Scope 2

Reduce emissions from purchased power to net zero by 2025.

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Scope 3

Establish goals for a wide range of indirect emission sources by 2025.

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Foster a university-wide culture of sustainability, with justice as a core principle.

Planet Blue Ambassador logo and hand with plant growing out of it

UM-Dearborn's Efforts Towards Carbon Neutrality

Applied research to save energy 

Through a DTE Energy-funded program called the E-Challenge, a 53-member team of students, faculty, and staff from UM-Dearborn put together an energy-savings plan that could save the University $200,000 on its annual energy bill and reduce electricity use and natural gas consumption. The scope and level of detail left an impression on judges from DTE and the Engineering Society of Detroit, who awarded the UM-Dearborn team the top spot in the competition. Go Dearborn Wolverines!

Lighting upgrades to improve efficiency

After the success of the E-Challenge team, the Strategic Energy Management Program started looking to implement the various energy-saving projects identified in the competition. The first project with the quickest payback period had to do with replacing lighting across campus with high-efficiency bulbs called light-emitting diodes or LEDs. According to an evaluation completed in August 2023, replacing light bulbs across all campus buildings will yield an estimated $122,400 annual cost savings and a 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the lighting energy system in the buildings.

Community collaboration to support clean energy

UM-Dearborn Faculty are helping a Detroit resident transform his idea of a Green Energy Village into a reality. The concept is to utilize available space to install artistic, energy-generating wind turbines and solar panel-equipped sculptures to create an energy microgrid. For more recent project updates and the final report on the project’s findings visit the Graham Sustainability Institute website.

Revolving energy fund

U-M’s revolving energy fund provides funding to implement energy-efficiency projects that generate cost savings, and these savings are then put back into the fund to allow for new investments. 

The revolving energy fund is currently funding LED lighting upgrades in twelve buildings on UM-Dearborn’s campus. The lighting upgrades require an initial investment, but once installed, the new lights will save the University energy and money for years to come!

Sustainability at UM-Dearborn

1200 - Campus Support Services Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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