CMU Sustainability Awards and Distinctions

​Awards

2019 WasteWise College/University Partner of the Year
What initially started as a small student food recovery project in 2010 transformed into zero-waste dining halls that divert approximately 330 tons of food scraps from landfills every year. The university buys back some of the compost from Morgan Composting, completing the cycle. This initiative has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the 2019 WasteWise College/University Partner of the Year award for exemplary waste prevention, environmental stewardship and productive (re)use of materials. Although CMU holds other food recovery awards, this is CMU’s first time in the No. 1 national spot in sustainability.

EPA’s Midwest Region Food Recovery Challenge
CMU has received the EPA’s Midwest Region Food Recovery Challenge award every year from 2014 to 2017 for its continual dedication to waste prevention and food recovery.

The Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise are both part of EPA’s Sustainable Management Program, which aims to prioritize using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles.

Distinctions

Waste Reduction

As shown with the CMU’s EPA awards, CMU has a strong commitment to waste reduction and hosts a number of student-led sustainability initiatives. 


CMU students also work with campus facilities to collect Styrofoam, plastic grocery bags (for recycling) and pizza boxes (for composting). Students also collect plastic stretch film and convert it into 250-pound bales, which are sold to Petoskey Plastics. The resin from the bales is then used to create trash can liners that the university purchases for campus.


In 2018, CMU’s waste prevention and recycling efforts saved 1,992 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to saving 224,600 gallons of gasoline, removing the emissions of 423 vehicles or removing electricity from 347 homes for an entire year.


The university is fortunate to partner with Waste Management, Isabella County Municipal Recycling, Petoskey Plastics, Morgan Composting and Aramark, a 2030 Food Loss and Waste Champion. However, none of these efforts would be possible without the work of CMU students.


On Campus Spots

Fabiano Botanical Garden, pond and gazebo

CMU hosts a variety of different spots showcasing different kinds of sustainability on campus, ranging from social, cultural, and environmental. 


The Biosciences and Educational Human Services buildings have “green roofs” and were constructed to reduce energy consumption. To learn more about these spots on campus and what sustainability means, check out our interactive, virtual sustainability walking tour


collage of different art around campus, featuring pieces from Warriner Hall, the Music Building, Art Gallery, Rose Pond sculptur

As part of our effort to encourage cultural sustainability and preservation, we also created a campus art tour to showcase the creative and oftentimes, unnoticed artwork on CMU’s campus.