The mission of the Office for Sustainability is to guide and assist the Western Michigan University community in fulfilling and growing its sustainability commitments. Through building a diverse and flourishing learning community around sustainability, we will continually explore and develop new opportunities to create a culture of sustainability and improve quality of life for all.
Goals and strategies
- Make Western Michigan University a national higher education sustainability leader.
- Identify and help implement innovative and cost-effective strategies for reducing WMU’s eco-cultural wake, which span all of our policies, programs and activities.
- Facilitate interdisciplinary and cross-college collaboration, research and inquiry around sustainability.
- Encourage and support weaving sustainability and climate change education into existing curriculum.
- Assist in the development and implementation of new undergraduate and graduate sustainability courses, certificates and degree programs.
- Support active learning and real-world problem solving through student sustainability research, internships and co-curricular activities.
- Graduate knowledgeable, open-minded, well-prepared and engaged planetary stewards.
- Serve as a resource and advocate for sustainability on campus and in the community, region and state.
- Collaborate with all offices and colleges across campus to secure resources for these efforts.
- Report regularly and transparently on both our achievements and shortcomings in these endeavor.
Policies and Guidelines
Declarations and Commitments
President' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
President John Dunn signed the ACUPCC on July 17, 2009, committing WMU to complete a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, create a plan for future climate neutrality, immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and integrate sustainability into the curriculum.
President Dunn is served as a member of the national steering committee for the ACUPCC. In this role he was responsible for guiding, setting policy and plotting direction for the Presidents' Climate Commitment together with over 20 other college and university leader.s
President John Dunn signed the Talloires Declaration on January 1, 2008, stating that WMU, as in institution of higher learning, will be a leader in developing, creating, supporting and maintaining sustainability.
The Talloires Declaration is a "ten-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities. it has been signed by over 400 university leaders in over 50 countries."
Facility Life Cycle Design Guidelines
WMU designs facilities to minimize environmental impact and requires Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for all major projects. Recent LEED projects include Sangren Hall, Western View Apartments, Brown Hall and several others.
Stormwater Management Policy
Changes to WMU's infrastructure and landscape often affect the water table below campus. This policy is applicable to all projects on University property that disturb one acre or more and is designed to offset any changes made to the existing stormwater runoff of the storm sewer system.