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Michigan Ross Green Team Looks for Fresh Ideas to Support Campus Sustainability Efforts

Originally established at Michigan Ross in 1993, the Green Team’s mission is to reduce environmental impact, further the sustainability goals of the University of Michigan, and be an educational resource for faculty, students, and staff. Over the years and as the university began to launch campus-wide sustainability initiatives, much of the work that the Green Team historically did became incorporated by the larger university community. Today, the Green Team’s focus is on partnering with other local and campus organizations to provide educational opportunities for Michigan Ross community members.

“A lot of what the Green Team does is highlighting the initiatives by the University of Michigan Office of Campus of Sustainability,” said Sandhya Krishnan, associate director of corporate relations in the Office of Advancement. “There are so many initiatives that happen at the university level and we can amplify them at Ross.”

Campus composting initiative

In the spring of 2019, the Green Team made a push to restart school-wide composting at Ross. Compost bins were strategically placed in shared staff kitchens with signage to help individuals distinguish between what is compostable and what is not. At that time, the Green Team worked to remove and replace non-compostable materials from the kitchens. They also coordinated with the university’s OCS to add Michigan Ross to the campus pick-up for compost program, and invited OCS representatives to present to the community about what is compostable in your backyard versus what is commercially compostable. Additionally, all faculty and staff received reusable mugs to prevent excess waste.

Annual Green Team events

The Green Team hosts annual events to teach community members about sustainability efforts at Ross and beyond. One is an annual expo with partners from across the U-M campus and Ann Arbor who share information with faculty, staff, and students. In the past, those partners have included OCS, the Erb Institute, Planet Blue, Scrap Creative Reuse, and Recycle Ann Arbor. The expo presents a great opportunity to learn about sustainability initiatives and ways to get involved. Last year the event included raffle prizes from local sustainability-focused businesses.

The Green Team also hosts approximately three annual Lunch & Learn events with representatives from U-M and Ann Arbor organizations. The events are typically catered by local restaurants that provide compostable packaging and utensils. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Green Team pivoted their Lunch & Learns to a virtual format where gift cards for lunches were provided to participants. Notable partners for Lunch & Learns have included Live Zero Waste, BYOC Co., U-M Bees, U-M Campus Farm, and U-M Athletics, among others.

However, since Michigan Ross has returned to in-person work in a hybrid format, it has made hosting events challenging. As a result, the team is currently looking for new members with fresh ideas to energize their sustainability efforts.

Who can join the Green Team?

Currently, the Green Team consists of members from all different areas of the business school, including the Office of Advancement, Operations, ACT, the Behavioral Research Lab, Full-Time MBA Program, and Research Support. Meetings are held every six weeks. New faculty and staff members are always welcome. 

“I do think that the Green Team is a way for you to have quite a bit of impact,” said Marissa Bhuva, associate director in the Graduate Academic Advising Office. “You can learn a lot, and you can meet great people across Ross – that has been one of my favorite parts of the Green Team.”

If you are interested in joining the Green Team, send an email to the Ross Green Team Planning Committee at RossGreen@umich.edu.


Check out additional sustainability resources from the University of Michigan:

Office of Campus Sustainability

Not sure if your waste is compostable, recyclable, or trash? Looking for sustainability data, tips, or promotional materials to share with your unit? There are many resources available through OCS, as well as information on the university’s sustainability goals, programs, and progress.

Planet Blue

Planet Blue at the University of Michigan aims to work toward university-wide carbon neutrality and empowers students, staff, and faculty to adopt a culture of sustainability. Planet Blue also brings together cross-disciplinary expertise to develop solutions to society’s most pressing environmental challenges.

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