U-M wins national award for campus sustainability excellence


The University of Michigan is one of eight institutions to receive the Sustainability Award in Facilities Management by APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities.

APPA, formerly known as Association of Physical Plant Administrators, is the nation’s primary organization for the management of educational facilities, with more than 1,300 learning institution members.

The award recognizes U-M’s efforts to advance sustainability excellence in its buildings and on campus by integrating sustainable policies and “green” practices throughout the organization and embedding them within the educational institution.

Kevin Morgan, manager of energy management, attended the APPA 2016 Conference earlier this month to celebrate the achievement.

“The award is the result of the countless efforts of many departments across campus to operate more sustainably and take action to further progress toward the university’s sustainability goals,” Morgan said.

“The efforts for which we received the award are broad, including everything from activities within the Graham (Sustainability) Institute, recycling and waste reduction, alternative transportation options, energy conservation and the sustainable construction of new facilities.”

To receive the award, U-M earned points in the following categories: educational curriculum and research; leadership and administration; maintenance and operations; energy and utilities; planning and construction; sustainability indicators; and sustainability innovations.

The award criteria are consistent with that used in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, which sets the standard for measuring campus environmental and sustainability performance. U-M received a Gold STARS rating in 2015, an improvement over its Silver rating in 2012.

In 2014, the university was awarded the 2014 APPA Award for Excellence in recognition for its achievements in facilities management. Established in 1988, the award highlights the essential role of facilities operations in the overall institutional mission and vision.

Other recipients of the 2016 Sustainability Award include: University of Virginia, Colorado State University, Elon University, George Washington University, Ohio University, Portland Community College and Spelman College. Award recipients were recognized July 12 during the 2016 APPA Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Planet Blue represents U-M’s deep commitment to sustainability in education, research and operations. It supports the collective effort of the campus community to be more sustainable, and to advance the university’s progress toward its 2025 sustainability goals in the areas of climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness.



  1. Doug Kelbaugh
    on July 27, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Congratulations, Kevn and everyone else on the team!
    Go Blue! Go Green!

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.