Mission and climate commitment

In 2015, Julio Frenk became the sixth president of the University of Miami. Among his many endeavors, he has served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. As a board member of the UN Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and as a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award, President Frenk is well aware of the challenges and threats Climate Change represent for the future of our communities and our Hemisphere. 

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    2022 was a year of bold thinking, visionary innovations, and a shared mission among all ’Canes to make the University—and the world—better than the year before. 

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked the University No. 8 on its Top 30 College and University list of green power users. The University also became a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program. Learn more


    Through its teaching and research endeavors, as well as the operations of its overall enterprise, the University of Miami is committed to the safeguarding of the environment. Innovative programs in schools and colleges, interdisciplinary centers and institutes, and events and activities throughout the University address issues involving a wide spectrum of environmental concerns.

    In 2005, the University launched Green U, under the direction of Alan J Fish (The Vice President of Business Services at the time) in order to officially categorize and direct the numerous sustainability efforts of the University. Green U’s first aim was to make UM: “a community leader in the acquisition of environmentally responsible products and the practice of ecologically sound maintenance and operations procedures.”

    In 2007, President Donna E. Shalala signed the 2nd Nature - American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. This historical event sent a strong and unequivocal message about University of Miami’s dedication to sustainability. As part of this commitment, a Climate Action Plan was designed in 2009 (download here). The University of Miami, since then, has taken steps towards carbon neutrality and has engaged in the path of Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction.

    The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment is a project developed by the national organization 2nd Nature in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), from which the University of Miami is an active member. The commitment provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to become Carbon neutral. 
    The University of Miami reports its Green House Gas inventory through the 2nd Nature Reporting Platform, and is on track with its first milestones on carbon emission reduction.

    Following the 2nd Nature Presidents Climate Commitment, the University of Miami has been initiating actions to reduce greenhouse gases:

    • We established a policy that all new campus constructions need to be built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or above.
    • We adopted an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
    • We have been encouraging the use of and provide access to public transportation and alternative mobility for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.
    • We launched a waste minimization campaign that include the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


    Mission Statement:


    Our Foundation:

    "Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative and operational processes that are critical to our long-term success. Further expand our commitment and the major efforts already underway to advance environmental responsibility across our University and reduce our carbon footprint. Grow our endowment to provide financial stability while enabling us to make strategic investments, pursue opportunities, and respond to challenges."


    University of Miami Strategic Plan

     “Our Facilities Operations and Planning group is leading the effort to seek new and innovative ways for the University to meet its sustainability goals through conservation, reducing, reuse and recycling programs […]
    and reducing their energy consumption”

    The Office of Sustainability's efforts are coordinated through the Department of Facilities, Operations and Planning. Green U works with staff, faculty, students, alumni and community partners to promote a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainable development; its mission is to spread sustainable behaviors, practices and policies that will minimize our impacts on natural resources, reduce our carbon footprint and foster a more balanced relationship between humans and their surrounding environment.

    Since 2017, the University have decided to use the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System as the most appropriate tool for this endeavor. The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. UM is an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.  In 2022, UM received a Gold rating on STARS for its achievments in sustainability performance. This ranking was allowed by the implementation of our Sustainability Action Plan 2019. You can download our Sustainability Report 2020. A new Sustainability Action Plan 2025 is being developed. You can send us your feedback on potential improvement of sustainability performance at the U by contacting greenu@miami.edu.