Points of Pride

Points of Pride and Recent Awards

WMU's Commitment to Sustainability 

President Dunn poses with construction officials as they install solar panels on the roof of Sangren Hall.

  • WMU has the most extensive electric vehicle infrastructure on campuses nationwide, including five battery electric AzureTransit Connect work vans, a 50kW photovoltaic array and 15 EV charging stations next to the Miller Auditorium Parking Deck. This equipment, made possible by a grant from the Department of Energy through the Ann Arbor based Clean Energy Coalition, was a product of the vision and support of the Office of Business and Finance.
  • All WMU students, faculty, and staff have been eligible to ride Kalamazoo County METRO Transit free of charge since 1998.
  • WMU completely eliminated the use of coal in the Robert M. Beam Power Plant in 1999. Since then much of campus has been powered, heated, and cooled using two super efficient natural gas co-generation turbines.
  • WMU is the only school in Michigan to divert large volumes of pre-consumer food waste to local farmers as livestock feed.
  • WMU has had a full time recycling coordinator since 1990 and is a national leader in campus recycling research.
  • Go Rounds at FlagpolesWestern Michigan University students were the first from Michigan schools to implement a self-initiated student sustainability fee.
  • Since 2009 WMU has given all incoming first year and transfer students a free re-usable mug called the EcoMug. In 2011 the program was featured prominently on the homepage of the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program.
  • In 2009 President John Dunn was an early signatory of the Presidents' Climate Commitment. Dunn is one of only 24 members of the organization's national steering committee. WMU submitted it's Climate Action Plan in 2012.
  • In 2008 President John Dunn signed the Talloires Declaration, "the first official statement made by university administrators of a commitment to environmental sustainability in higher education."
  • WMU is a signatory of the Southwest Michigan Regional Sustainability Covenant.
  • WMU is a founding participant in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.
  • The Sustainable Endowments Institute recognizes WMU as one of 80 national campus sustainability leaders.
  • WMU's student-led and administered Student Sustainability Grant, a unique program nationally, offers students $75,000 annually towards projects that promote a campus culture of sustainability and potentially benefit all students.
  • WMU's Sustainability Across Research and Teaching initiative (StART) is the first program to collaboratively integrate both research and teaching into a faculty development initiative. It is also intended to chart next steps for advancing WMU's mission in addition to the ACUPCC requirement to provide sustainability education opportunities to the entire campus.