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Posted on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

University of Michigan Athletic Department launches web page to encourage 'green' sustainability

By Chelsea Hoedl

Michigan Stadium.jpg

The University of Michigan Athletic Department launched their sustainability website on June 14.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department is continuing its efforts to engage in environmentally friendly practices with the launch of its new sustainability web page.

The page, launched on June 14, details the department’s strategy for reducing environmental impact and becoming more sustainable.

Fans are now able to read about the athletic department’s sustainability mission, learn what it means to "Live Planet Blue" and navigate through the department’s game plan for each of its four areas of focus; waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency and sustainable building infrastructure, water conservation, chemical usage and sustainable cleaning practices and education and awareness.

“Launching this web page aligns with one of our key drivers, which is education and awareness,” said Paul Dunlop, U-M athletics building facilities manager. “We wanted to draw people’s attention to the fact that a lot goes on behind the scenes and teach them not only about what we’re doing, but also about what they can do as fans, staff or students to be more sustainable.”

The Michigan Athletic Department in collaboration with the University’s Office of Campus Sustainability and the Michigan Student Athletes for Sustainability created a committee in fall 2012 to develop a sustainability plan for the athletic department in-line with the guidelines set by Planet Blue.

“Our plan brings attention to the campuswide sustainability efforts,” Dunlop said. “The University of Michigan does a lot in that area. It’s a high priority for the university and people see what the athletic department does so we can help to push their sustainability efforts forward.”

Dunlop said fans can expect to see more focus on sustainability in the future.

“I can’t tell you how it will translate in to game day experience,” Dunlop said. “But fans will see more signage and they might notice our back of house composting, which is a big step. A lot of what we’re doing won’t be visible, like making sure buildings are energy efficient and chemicals are used in environmentally friendly ways.”

The athletic department is taking a broad approach to becoming a more environmentally conscious and sustainable member of the university community, Dunlop said.

“There isn’t one particular big push,” Dunlop said. “We’re focusing equally on each area because they’re all important. It’s a lot to take on and we have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited about these first steps in the process.”

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at



Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

heartbreakM hit the nail on the 'sustainability' head. unless it involves presidents' pictures, the brandon athletic department's green initiative must be bogus. . and this is the really sad fact IF IT WERE a legitimate program the athletic department's lack of credibility with anything-------other than padding the surplus------dooms it.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Anytime I read about efforts (more like mandatory or forced) for "sustainability" or "diversity" - I cringe.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

There is only one green that this athletic department is interested in.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Make one wonder what the carbon footprint of a single home football game would be.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

What a joke. What a pathetic, disingenuous, joke of an idea. How sustainable is that new multi-mega-watt advertising television on the roadside, Dave Brandon? How sustainable is it to run the huge screens in the big house when no one is in the stadium? Why do you leave the lights on in the new towers all night long (and all winter!)? Why won't you let me bring my sustainable water bottle into the stadium? What percentage of the exorbitant ticket prices do you donate to charitable or environmental causes? NONE! The U's athletic department is now run by a bunch of corporate, money-grubbing jerks. Wow, I must be getting old, that was so cynical. But sadly, also true.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

This is a joke right? The stadium is the epitome of wastefulness. Besides, as soon as someone else builds a stadium a little bigger, with a slightly bigger screen construction will start again to make it once again the biggest Big House. So much for sustainable.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

evidently we aren't drinking the kool-aid even if it is in a recyclable paper cup.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

Green (PLASTIC) grass sprouting all over; buildings and more buildings... a disingenuous promotion to say the least.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:32 a.m.

Noon games, 10 cent deposit on all of the absopure (all) water bottles in the state of Michigan, are two initiatives to start with


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

Which is why they just put in a jumbotron out front to run 24/7 and why the lights and score boards are always on, because we all know that lighting up empty stadiums is green! Once they turn off lights and schedule events during daylight hours to save engery, then they can start to talk about being green.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

Sorry to be cynical but gimmick marketing to "look hip and progressive". Lip service. Not feeling a drop of authenticity in this initiative.

Seasoned Cit

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

This is why the grass / weeds along the UM golf course on Main St is no longer being mowed. They have even let things grow on the inside of the fence for a more Natural look and to help the golfers lose golf balls. Less mowing also means less exhaust to foul the air. Next time Al Gore comes to town we can thank him.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

The other course is Ann Arbor Golf & Outing.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

Both Main and Stadium.... some of the holes on the back 9 are up against Main St.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

Does the U of M Golf Course "front" along Main Street? I thought that was the Ann Arbor City Golf Course. The two golf courses sit side by side.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

OK What's in it for the athletic dept? They will probably charge to visit the web page!

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

let people bring their own sandwiches in reusable Tupperware containers . Let them bring their own cokes in cans with 10 cent refunds. Only schedule noon games so you don't have to turn the lights on..turn off those massive screens at each end of the stadium.....errr....never mind its all a publicity stunt anyway.

Jim Mulchay

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

Water bottles - how many are sold per season at U-M athletic events? Sell only fully recyclable water bottles (do any exist?)? Provide free water stations (aka drinking fountains) instead of selling water? Put a site deposit on water bottles sold at U-M events - redeemable by the Athletic Department? Let people bring in their own water if in a recyclable or reusable container?