Sustainability Planning

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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."

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  • GHG Inventory and Sustainability Dashboard - 3 Main Campuses


    The University of Miami ranked number 26 on the 2023 Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges. 

    Since its creation in 2017, it is the first time that the U is ranked among the ultra-competitive Top 50 Green Colleges! The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges is a resource published online for college applicants seeking schools with strong commitments to the environment in their campus policies, programs, and practices.

    Accessible for free at, the 2023 edition profiles 455 colleges and presents a ranking list of the Top 50 Green Colleges among over 1,000 institutions rated. Learn more.

    The University of Miami Receives STARS Gold Rating for the second time in a row!

    In 2022, the University of Miami has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. UM’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website

    PA-10: Sustainable Investment and Divestment

    “The growth pool will phase out directly held investments in fossil fuel-specific investment managers by 2028. This includes not making any new investments in fossil fuel-specific investment managers. This is defined as funds with more than 50% of assets invested in companies engaged in exploration, production, refining and marketing of coal, oil and gas.”


    Pardon our progress, historical data is in review.

  • Sustainability Dashboard - Coral Gables - Rosenstiel
  • Sustainable Operation Plan - Coral Gables - Rosenstiel

    The University of Miami’s Sustainable Operations Plan 2035 is a roadmap to reaching net-zero carbon emissions, detailing projects in energy efficiency, materials management, the built environment, purchasing, waste diversion, and water. It is the result of intensive collaboration with UM staff across departments responsible for operating the Coral Gables and RSMAS Campuses. The plan establishes a framework for strategically developing, implementing, and managing projects that contribute to meeting UM’s sustainability goals.

    Achieving sustainability is a process of continual improvement. Together, we can achieve the SOP’s ambitious goals and demonstrate the University’s leadership in sustainability. 

    Goal #1 - Carbon Neutrality

    University-wide, purchased electricity is consistently the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year.

    visit SIMAP Green House Gas Inventory - Carbon Neutrality Commitments

    How to get there
    In 2019, the University of Miami joined Florida Power & Light’s Solar Together program, becoming one of the largest higher education institutions in Florida to harness solar energy to power nearly all of its campuses. The electricity purchased from FPL represents the majority of the total greenhouse gas emissions of the University, and puts us well on our way to reaching a 90% reduction in our GHG emissions. Learn more about UM’s partnership with FPL by
    clicking here.

    Goal #2 - Energy Efficiency

    Despite our ever-growing campus, our energy consumption per capita has been steadily decreasing. The infrastructure and facilities are constantly changing and growing to meet the needs of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the University.

    How to get there
    Most recently, an 80 KW solar array was installed on the Fieldhouse building. The University also has solar panels installed on the Hurricane Food Court and the Frost School of Music. Retro-commissioning of existing buildings and utilities are helping reduce our consumption too. Learn more about our renewable energy initiatives by
    clicking here,and our energy conservation strategies by clicking here

    Our Facilities department has adopted best practices and technologies to optimize the campus’ water use and further promote the University’s water conservation efforts despite a constant growth in demand. 

    Our initiatives in this area include best practices in native landscaping and xeriscaping, smart irrigation, rainwater harvesting, leak detection programs, the replacement of shower heads, urinals, and toilets to low-flow models, and more. Learn more about our water conservation initiatives by clicking here.

    Goal #3 - Green Buildings

    How to get there
    The University has a strict commitment to LEED certification for new construction, and we are currently updating our existing buildings to be more energy efficient as well. The Design and Construction department has certified 1.2M square feet of Green Buildings to date and is in the process of developing an additional 727,000 square feet of LEED-certified facilities. In 2022, the Miami Herbert Business School was awarded the LEED Platinum certification for its ongoing operations and maintenance. Learn more about our LEED-certified buildings by
    clicking here.

    Goal #4 - Alternative Mobility

    How to get there
    Currently, about 20% of the University’s fleet is powered via electricity. The University has installed Level 2 charging stations on the Coral Gables campus, with plans to install more in the future. We expect to transition campus fleets to alternatively-fueled vehicles like EVs. Learn more by clicking here.

    Goal #5 - Waste Diversion

    How to get there
    The University of Miami’s waste diversion initiatives involve recycing, reusing, composting, donating and reducing waste. 

    UM offers single-stream recycling for common recyclables, but is also proud to offer specialized recycling programs to enhance its waste diversion. Batteries, E-waste, and toner cartridges are all examples of specialized items that can be recycled here at the U. 

    Composting is conducted in the Sustainability Garden and, more recently, at Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall. Composting at the dining hall is administered in partnership with Compost For Life. Pending a successful conclusion of this pilot project, we anticipate expanding the composting program to other locations. 

    The University has several donation programs responsible for tons of waste diverted annually. Sneakers can be donated at the Soles4Souls bins located throughout campus (there is one centrally located in the bookstore). The campus also partners with Goodwill to collect donations at spring move-out. GreenU, the Office of Sustainability, collects used office items for donation to the local K-12 school district. Lastly, UM Dining partners with Miami Rescue Mission to divert and donate food. In 2023, the U will be instituting a trash can-free desk policy to reduce waste in offices. Learn more by clicking here.


  • Mission and History


    “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” University of Miami Strategic Plan. p 44



    The University strives to educate future leaders and transform lives through teaching, research, innovation, and service. To that end, the University has embarked on a culture transformation initiative that embraces sustainability as one of its guiding principles. Leading this effort is the Office of Sustainability, overseen by the University’s department of Facilities Operation and Planning.

    In 2007, the University of Miami signed the 2nd Nature Presidents Climate Commitment. This historical event sent a strong and unequivocal message about University’s dedication to sustainability. Since then, the University has made reducing greenhouse gas emissions a priority: it 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; it adopted an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist; it has been encouraging the use of public transportation and alternative mobility for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors at the institution; and it launched a comprehensive waste minimization campaign.


    Between 2016 and 2018—the year it first received a Silver rating on the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS)—the institution made significant progress. The Frost School of Music studios’ were the first Higher Education buildings to receive a LEED Platinum rating by the USGBC, with features like electrochromic windows, a rainwater harvesting cistern connected to the toilets flushing system, and a 75 KW PV array offsetting more than half of the electrical load of the building.
    The University published its first comprehensive Environmentally Preferred Products policy. Through its partnership with Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, the University of Miami was the first college football program to wear football jerseys made from repurposed and upcycled materials pulled from the ocean. During that period, the University published its Socially Responsible Investment policy, and started to engaged in sustainable investments. In 2028, the University will have divested 100% of its growth pool from fossil-fuel specific investment managers.

    In 2022, thanks to the implementation of its Sustainability Action Plan, the University earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability performance from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. In 2020, it had reached the first milestone of its carbon emission reduction journey, at 20% reduction from its 2007 baseline. While the 2020 Sustainability Report offers a good overview of its performance, the University is working on releasing its Sustainable Operation Plan for 2035 with new carbon neutrality targets.


    One of the University of Miami's most significant achievements in the last three years have been the implementation of the Florida Power and Light (FPL) Solar Together program. This community solar agreement allows the University to procure 100% of its 2019 electricity consumption through off-site solar energy. The Renewable Energy Credits associated with it are offsetting operation scope 2 emissions—getting us much closer to carbon neutrality.

    Since the launch of its LEED mandate and as of 2022, 17 buildings have been certified by the USGBC, most of them at the Gold level. The latest example of that commitment to green building is the LEED Gold certification of the Lakeside Village Housing units, featuring the first green roofs on residential student housing in our region, rain gardens to manage storm water, HVAC heat recovery systems, as well as stilt structures to address climate resilience.
    In 2022, the Miami Herbert Business School certified Platinum on the LEED Existing Building Operation and Maintenance program from USGBC. The project is the first LEED v4.1 OM higher education building in the State of Florida. 

    As of Spring 2022, the University installed 18 new level 2 Electric Vehicle charging stations on its main campus. In the past four years, the University of Miami launched various new graduate and undergraduate programs focused on sustainability, among them the Master of Science in Sustainable Business from the Miami Herbert Business School, the Bachelor of Science in Geography and Sustainable Development, the Master of Professional Science in Urban Resilience and Sustainability from the College of Arts and Science, and the Master of Science in Climate and Health from the Miller School of Medicine and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

    The Culmination of this effort was the creation in April 2022 of the Climate Resilience Academy.


    With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: 1) academics 2) engagement, 3) operations, 4) planning and administration, and 5) innovation and leadership. 

    “STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “the University of Miami has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

    Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions. 

    In 2022, the University of Miami has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. UM’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website

    Consult the STARS 2019 Gold report , The Sustainability Report 2020, and send your comments and suggestions to
    (Sustainability Planning 2007-2020) (powerbyyouDEI2023)