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Sustainability at the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is committed to advance sustainability through the ways we impact the world: teaching, research, service, and operations.

About SustainableUMD

Our global fight against the climate crisis is far from over. The University of Maryland will accelerate its goal to become a net carbon-neutral campus by 2025. It is my hope that these measures will help inspire every one of us to commit to the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions for our planet and for our people. 

SustainableUMD News & Events

Aquaponics: The Future of Sustainable Farming

A Sustainability Fund grant is helping to bring an innovative farming method to the University of Maryland, and nothing about it smells fishy. Students, faculty and staff will build a 1,200-square-foot aquaponics research center near the Research Greenhouse Complex during the Fall 2018 semester. Aquaponics is a form of food production that integrates hydroponics (soilless crops) with aquaculture (fish production). Jose-Luis Izursa, a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, is leading the effort.

UMD Alum and Sustainability Pioneer at National Geographic

While National Geographic magazine is renowned for its respect of world cultures and ecosystems, Hans Wegner ’70 spent his career ensuring that the company’s operations were also gentle on the planet.

Alumni Spotlight: Rochelle Samuel

Rochelle Samuel ’15 stood among the first Maryland graduates to earn a minor in sustainability studies—even though five years earlier she’d never heard the term “sustainability.”

Green Life is the Good Life

Students at Maryland can do more than expand their horizons. They can shrink their environmental footprint.   The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with the Department of Resident Life and the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life, launched the Green Terp and Green Chapter programs to increase sustainable behaviors among students.  

Let It Bee at UMD

If you like to eat, bees are your friends. The crops they pollinate account for 30 percent of Americans’ diets, and have an economic value of more than $20 billion.  

Computing the Costs of Digital Data on Campus

Although the virtual world can’t operate without the data centers that house oceans of internet information, these giant computerized hubs create problems in the real world. They consume 3 percent of the globe’s electrical power and pump as much carbon into the air as all airlines combined, contributing to climate change.

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Get Involved

Guides, programs, certifications, and commitments to empower all at UMD to advance sustainability progress!

Take Action

Progress Hub

The SustainableUMD Progress Hub displays campus sustainability metrics in interactive dashboards, celebrates stories of sustainable progress across the UMD community, and connects local action at UMD with global sustainability goals.

Earth Icon Gold STARS: Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System Wind turbine & sun




UMD's Target to Achieve Net-Zero Emissions

STARS rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Purchased Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources

Explore campus programs and initiatives through the lens of these sustainability topic areas. 

Explore opportunities to get involved, adopt sustainable practices, and some of the sustainable policies, practices, and infrastructure implemented on campus. Sustainability is multifaceted and interconnected, and there are many linkages between these topics and beyond to the health, safety, and well-being of all.

Select a topic: 

Waste Turtle Icon Water Turtle Icon Food Turtle Icon Grounds turtle icon Buildings turtle icon Energy Turtle Icon Commute Turtle Icon
Learn more about UMD's path to carbon neutrality by 2025, and sustainability initiatives across the campus!

Sustainability News from University of Maryland

overhead view of students working on design project

To Design for the Future, Class Looks to the Past

Architecture Students Boost Site Sustainability Through Indigenous Ecological Practices
View Article To Design for the Future, Class Looks to the Past
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Today’s Honey Bees Live Only Half as Long as ’70s Bees

Shorter Lifespans for Lab-kept Honey Bees Could Help Explain Increased Colony Losses, Lower Honey Production
View Article Today’s Honey Bees Live Only Half as Long as ’70s Bees

UMD-led Climate Report Details Steps to Halving U.S. Emissions by 2030

Analysis Unveiled at COP27 Calls for More Zero-emissions Vehicles, Closing Coal Power Plants, Mandating Clean Energy Use
View Article UMD-led Climate Report Details Steps to Halving U.S. Emissions by 2030

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