What is U-M’s impact on the environment? What can you do to make a difference? To answer these questions and engage with other interested U-M community members, UMHS faculty and staff are invited to become certified as Planet Blue Ambassadors.
U-M launched the online certification program in an effort to promote sustainable behaviors and culture among our community. Open to all faculty, staff and students, the Planet Blue Ambassador program is part of President Mary Sue Coleman’s Sustainability Initiative known as Planet Blue, and is available online at: www.sustainability.umich.edu/pba/planet-blue-ambassadors.
The online tool consists of five training modules directly connected to U-M’s sustainability goals in energy, food, waste, water and community. Achievements in all of these areas were recently highlighted in U-M’s 2012 Sustainability Progress report.
The Ambassador program trains U-M community members in sustainable culture and behavior. Each 5-10 minute module includes an interactive game with suggestions to get involved, as well as information about U-M’s goals and progress to date. All ambassadors will become part of a community committed to learning about and acting on sustainability. The first 400 ambassadors to complete the online training will receive a free Planet Blue reusable water bottle. Everyone who completes the certification by the end of today will be entered into a drawing for a free solar-powered electronics charger.
"Participation in the Planet Blue Ambassadors Program is a great way to become more informed, and more directly engaged in the Hospitals and Health Centers environmental stewardship initiatives," says Tom Peterson, associate director, Operations and Support Services, UMHHC and co-chair of the UMHS Environmental Stewardship Steering Committee.
Once certified, Planet Blue Ambassadors will have access to a personal online dashboard where they can track their progress and access resources about sustainable behaviors. Planet Blue Ambassadors will also be invited to bi-annual meetings to share best practices and experiences, as well as other events to receive further sustainability training, discuss issues, share ideas, and discover resources.
With funding from the Provost’s Office, the Planet Blue Ambassador program evolved from the Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment‘s “Culture Team”. The PBA program began last academic year as a partnership between the Graham Sustainability Institute, Office of Campus Sustainability, University Housing, and the Student Sustainability Initiative with a peer-to-peer sustainability leadership program in student housing now known as the Planet Blue Student Leaders.
As of Jan. 23, more than 1,000 individuals had started their training and more than 820 of those have become fully certified as Planet Blue Ambassadors. Planet Blue Ambassadors have made more than 20,000 sustainability pledges, and completed nearly 9,000.
To join your fellow U-M faculty, staff and students as a Planet Blue Ambassador, begin your certification at http://www.sustainability.umich.edu/pba/planet-blue-ambassadors.