U-M climate action work builds on commission recommendations and prior efforts in carbon accounting and energy-use reduction.
From February 2019 to March 2021, the University of Michigan President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality (PCCN) worked to recommend a pathway for the university to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and in doing so, develop scalable and transferable strategies that other institutions and larger communities can apply to achieve the same goal. The commission released its final recommendations in March 2021, after reviewing and considering 521 public comments from U-M community members following the release of the commission’s draft report. The commission's final report and recommendations inform U-M's carbon neutrality goals and actions announced in May 2021.
Prior to the commission’s work, U-M convened the President’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee, which delivered its recommendations in 2015. As a product of the committee’s guidance, U-M increased the capacity to generate energy on campus at the Central Power Plant, purchased additional renewable energy from local utilities, and continued to invest in energy efficiency. In the early 2000s, the university began quantifying and reporting its greenhouse gas emissions, and, in the 1990s, U-M launched targeted efforts to reduce energy use in buildings.
PCCN Process Information
Structure & Timeline
The commission included 17 internal and external stakeholders.
Stephen Forrest, Commission Co-Chair
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics, and Material Sciences and Engineering and former Vice President for Research, U-M
Jennifer Haverkamp, Commission Co-Chair
Graham Family Director, Graham Sustainability Institute and Professor from Practice, Michigan Law School, U-M
Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations, U-M
Director, Office of Campus Sustainability, U-M
Vice Provost for Engaged Learning, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
T. Anthony Denton
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U-M Health System, Michigan Medicine
U-M Doctoral Student
Senior Vice President of Governmental, Regulatory and Public Affairs, Consumers Energy
Director, Center for Sustainable Systems, Peter M. Wege Professor of Sustainable Systems, School for Environment and Sustainability, and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, U-M
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, U-M
Samuel A. Graham Dean and Professor, William B. Stapp Collegiate Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, College of Engineering, and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, U-M
J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Environmental Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, U-M
Vice President Corporate Strategy, DTE Energy
William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering, and Director, University of Michigan Energy Institute, U-M
Sustainability & Innovations Manager for the City of Ann Arbor
U-M Undergraduate Student
Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Final Report and Recommendations
The commission submitted its final report and recommendations to university leadership on March 18, 2021.
Draft Final Report
The commission released its draft report for public comment in December 2020.
Throughout its process, the commission released two progress reports and a preliminary work plan.
The commission met regularly throughout its 2-year process. Find meeting summaries below.
- June 5, 2020 (PDF)
- May 22, 2020 (PDF)
- May 15, 2020 (PDF)
- May 8, 2020 (PDF)
- May 1, 2020 (PDF)
- April 24, 2020 (PDF)
- April 17, 2020 (PDF)
- March 27, 2020 (PDF)
- February 21, 2020 (PDF)
- February 7, 2020 (PDF)
- January 24, 2020 (PDF)
- January 10, 2020 (PDF)
- December 13, 2019 (PDF)
- November 15, 2019 (PDF)
- October 25, 2019 (PDF)
- September 27, 2019 (PDF)
- September 13, 2019 (PDF)
- August 2, 2019 (PDF)
- July 19, 2019 (PDF)
- June 28, 2019 (PDF)
- May 31, 2019 (PDF)
- May 3, 2019 (PDF)
- April 12, 2019 (PDF)
- March 11, 2019 (PDF)
- February 22, 2019 (PDF)
Numerous internal analysis teams, commission sub-groups, and external consulting firms supported the work of the commission. Each of these groups researched and assessed potential recommendations on specific topics related to carbon neutrality at U-M.
Upon concluding their analyses, teams submitted reports, linked below, containing potential recommendations to the commission. The reports served as inputs to the commission's process and informed deliberations, but do not reflect commission-level recommendations, and should neither be interpreted as being recommendations of the PCCN nor carrying its endorsement.
- All analysis reports
- Building Standards
- Campus Culture and Communication
- Carbon Accounting Modeling Project
- Energy Consumption Policies
- External Collaboration
- University Food
- Mobility Electrification
- SmithGroup: Building Efficiency Studies
- Integral Group: Carbon Neutral Power and Heat Infrastructure: Summary Report
- University-Sponsored Travel
Public Engagement and the Carbon Neutrality Commission
Over the course of its two-year process, the commission hosted a number of public fora and reviewed and considered more than 700 public comments from more than 400 members of the U-M community.
The commission reviewed 521 public comments following the release of its draft recommendations in December 2020. The commission then, armed with feedback, ideas, and perspectives from U-M students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members, incorporated critical inputs into its final report.