|Submission Date||Oct. 15, 2020|
Central Michigan University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction
Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
With more than 19,000 students, Central Michigan University’s (CMU’s) waste prevention and diversion efforts are a student-led priority. In 2010, university students began a food recovery project collecting kitchen waste. The kitchen waste, combined with yard waste, created the first campus compost pile. The resulting compost was given away for use in student gardens. After 10 years and with the help of Aramark and Morgan Composting, the program now composts over 330 tons of food scraps per year.
The university buys back some of the finished compost to complete the cycle. The food recovery project is one of many student-led sustainability initiatives on campus. CMU students also work with campus facilities to collect styrofoam, plastic grocery bags, and pizza boxes. For example, students collect plastic stretch film and turn it into 250-pound bales. The bales are sold to Petoskey Plastics, and the resin is used to create trash can liners. The university purchases the liners, completing the cycle.
The university’s sustainability program has grown significantly since its start in 2010. In 2018, CMU’s waste prevention and recycling efforts saved the equivalent of 1,992 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This savings is equivalent to removing the emissions of 423 vehicles for one year, saving 224,600 gallons of gasoline or saving the electricity for 347 homes for one year.
The University is fortunate to have great partners in Aramark, a U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Champion; Waste Management; Isabella County Municipal Recycling Facility; Petoskey Plastics; and Morgan Composting. None of these efforts would be possible however without CMU students. The university’s sustainability programs represent the students’ thoughts, desires, and actions.
Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Food & Dining
Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
This program collects and composts or recycles pre- and post-consumer waste from our four residential restaurants and from University Center operations. Coffee grounds from Java City continue to be composted as well. The compostable material is transferred to a local facility, Morgan Composting, in Sears, MI. Morgan Composting “promotes sustainable practices and is an innovative provider of economical & healthy soil practices.” In 2017, 338.06 tons of waste were diverted from the landfill to be composted.
Even during the COVID pandemic, CMU is still able to uphold its zero waste dining practices. In fall 2020, CMU opened with new sorting processes in dining halls that enable the dining services to continue working with facilities, and Morgan's composting to retain its zero waste practices.
Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Food & Dining
Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
Central Michigan University has a unique and special partnership with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, comprises mainly the Saginaw, Black River, and Swan Creek Ojibwe bands.
There are 2,767 enrolled members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, many who live on the reservation - which was established through a Aug. 2, 1855 treaty - while others live throughout Michigan and the United States.
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and Central Michigan University have a strong historic and cooperative relationship that complements each entity's goals and encourages collaborative efforts to improve and enhance the quality of life of citizens of the region.
This has fostered educational initiatives, cultural events and speakers, and extensive Native American educational resources for the campus and tribal communities.
For example, leaders from CMU and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College signed an articulation agreement that provides easy transfer for tribal college students who wish to complete their studies toward a baccalaureate degree at CMU.
In April 2002, leaders from CMU and the Tribal Council signed a proclamation pledging their support for joint educational efforts and advancing an appreciation of global indigenous peoples. This led to CMU and the tribe jointly hosting a United Nations-funded international conference on indigenous issues in higher education in fall 2003.
This mutual relationship also is evident in the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council's continued support of Central Michigan University's "Chippewas" nickname, which the university uses as a sign of pride, honor and respect for the tribe's rich heritage.
Most recently, CMU students, staff, and faculty partnered with students and faculty from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College. Through this partnership, the team was able to implement a fully functional composting program at a tribal elderly home which saved nearly 5,000 lbs of food waste from going to land fills.
Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Diversity & Affordability
Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.