Highlights include Climate Action Plan 2.0, installation of solar panels, expansion of compost collection sites, and more.
The University of Maryland recently released its Sustainability Progress Report, featuring an array of sustainability achievements from the past year.
Highlights from the report include:
- The university reduced campus greenhouse gas emissions by 28%;
- UMD joined the "We Are Still In" coalition of over 1,000 leaders, pledging to forge ahead on climate action to meet the Paris Agreement;
- President Wallace Loh announced Climate Action Plan 2.0, further charting the path to carbon neutrality by 2050;
- The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute was launched with $7.5 million in state funding;
- Campus solar energy production increased with the installation of over 7,000 solar panels on the rooftop of three campus parking garages;
- Dining Services' new Anytime Dining program removed 6.3 million disposable items from the waste stream and improved the healthfulness and sustainability of food served on campus;
- Compost collection expanded to more than 25 collection sites;
- The Green Terp and Green Chapter programs launched through the Office of Sustainability, Department of Resident Life and Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
“Sustainability has become a way of life for our campus, as students, faculty and staff commit to the future of our planet,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Faculty and staff are at the forefront of climate research. We made a promise and commitment to carbon neutrality. We’re keeping it.”
In October, the university announced Climate Action Plan 2.0, an update to the original UMD Climate Action Plan first published in 2009. The plan refines several key strategies with a focus on minimizing carbon emissions associated with university air travel, offering incentives to encourage carpooling and use of public transit, and continuing progress on the President’s Energy Initiatives, announced in April 2014.
The next significant Climate Action Plan milestone will be to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2020.
In addition to highlighting campus actions and achievements, the Sustainability Progress Report provides the University Sustainability Council and the campus community with data that allows for future planning around sustainability issues.
The full Sustainability Progress Report is available here: https://go.umd.edu/progress2017