January 29, 2015
Global transformations begin with local actions. That's the operating principle behind U-M's Planet Blue Ambassador program.
Since its launch in January 2013, more than 2,000 U-M staff, students and faculty have become certified ambassadors, completing more than 20,000 environmental actions.
Earlier this month, an upgraded version of the PBA program's online tool — PBA 2.0 — was released, making it possible for users to make pledges and track success in a new state-of-the-art dashboard.
For each completed action item, users earn “points” based on quantitative impacts, level of difficulty, and educational value. The dashboard upgrade also provides individual and collective impact data on greenhouse gas emission avoidance, waste prevention, dollars saved and water saved.
“Our Planet Blue initiative unifies all of U-M’s sustainability work — spanning research, education and campus life,” President Mark Schlissel said in his “On the Agenda” blog. “The Planet Blue Ambassador online training tool helps us better understand and manage our daily actions to better protect our environment and help U-M reach its sustainability goals.”
The Planet Blue Ambassador Program supports the university's community awareness sustainability goal of investing in sustainability culture programs that educate our community, track behavior, and report on progress over time.
“The Planet Blue Ambassadors program offers an engaging and easy way for students, faculty and staff to begin integrating sustainability into their professional and personal lives,” said Don Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute and special counsel to the U-M president for sustainability.
Becoming a Planet Blue Ambassador involves completing five short, individual training modules designed around the U-M campus sustainability priorities — food, energy, waste, water and community. Each module takes 5-10 minutes to complete.
The modules include new videos, up-to–date data on progress toward sustainability goals, and new interactive activities on energy and water.
As recognition for completing the training and becoming a Planet Blue Ambassador, all participants will receive an official certificate. The first 400 individuals to complete the training in 2015 also will receive a Planet Blue reusable water bottle.
The Planet Blue Ambassador Program is administered by the Graham Sustainability Institute.