Graham Sustainability Institute

Carbon Neutrality

Dow Products

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Video

The concept of energy democracy allows people and communities to have control over their energy supply, with options such as choosing whether it comes from fossil fuels or renewables, and infrastructure considerations. Energy democracy focuses on poor and working class people of color, often most impacted by energy purchase decisions. The city of HIghland Park, MI has a majority of African-American and black population, with nearly half of residents living below the poverty line. Soulardarity and the Dow Fellows team collaborated on a community survey, that showed, among other findings, that approximately 40% of the population reported difficulty in paying their energy bills, with multiple people reporting illegal shut-offs.  The results suggest a high and possibly unjust energy burden on the population.

Keywords: Energy democracy, Community Solar Calculator, Community Solar Power, Highland Park

November 2018
Video

Like many post-industrial cities, Detroit has an outdated and overburdened combined sewer system. In a combined sewer system, heavy rains overwhelm the city’s water treatment system, resulting in increased flooding and discharges of both sewage and stormwater into local rivers. In order to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO), stormwater must enter the sewer system at a slower and steadier pace without high peaks caused by heavy rain events. In addition, Detroit has vast amounts of impervious surface, much of which is abandoned or underused, further contributing to stormwater runoff concerns.

This project, in collaboration with Michigan Community Resources (MCR) and Eastside Community Network (ECN), explores whether a collective, place-based approach to green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) installations can result in joint stormwater credits toward fees in residential neighborhoods.

November 2018
Video

Over the course of 2017, a team of University of Michigan (U-M) Dow Sustainability Fellows partnered with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin to assess NELD impacts experienced by their community. Students collaborated with the tribe to document and illuminate the potential adverse health, cultural, and psychological impacts stemming from biodiversity losses and destruction or alteration of landscapes. Their research highlights the interconnected relationship between the environment and tribal members’ identity, spirituality, and culture. Moreover, it demonstrates how dedicated the community is to being environmental stewards.

Keywords:  Non-economic losses and damages (NELD), Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, emotional, health, psychological impacts stemming, climate and environmental change, Wisconsin

November 2018
Dow Distinguished Awards 2018 Factsheet
Fact Sheet

Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability
Open to any U-M Ann Arbor undergraduate or graduate student interested in pursuing innovative solutions to affordable housing, access to healthy food, renewable energy, and more. 

July 2018
Dow Masters 2018 Factsheet
Fact Sheet

Supports graduate scholars pursuing a Master's or Professional degree who are committed to finding sustainable solutions and prepares them to be global sustainability leaders.

July 2018
Fact Sheet

Supports doctoral scholars developing and implementing innovative sustainability ideas and becoming leaders in academia, business, government and non-governmental organizations.

July 2018
Annual Report/Guide

2018 Dow Sustainability Fellows Annual ReportIn the Sixth Annual Report, Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability, made possible by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M) engaged 17 of U-M's 19 schools and colleges this past year.

July 2018
Fact Sheet

Getting around without a car isn’t easy in many U.S. cities. People who rely on public transit often contend with many challenges, including decaying infrastructure, not having easy access to a transit stop, lack of system reliability, restrictions to how late or early a system operates, and often a lack of support to fund transit improvements. These difficulties can impact people in many ways, including their ability to access essential healthcare, jobs, and grocery stores. Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft can pick up the slack from inadequate public transit, but they also present challenges, like being inaccessible to people with disabilities; lacking the incentive to work along unpopular routes; creating more emissions per mile traveled; and siphoning riders (and money) from public transit. One solution to these challenges is for transit agencies to enter into public-private partnerships with ride-hailing companies to expand public transit coverage.

June 2018
Fact Sheet

São Paulo, Brazil, is a booming city. Growing, thriving, and leaving far too many people behind in the process. According to the Washington Post, a 2013 government survey found Brazil is short over 6 million housing units, a shortage demonstrated in São Paulo. A solution many urban residents consider is joining a land occupation, or “Ocupação” in Portuguese. These are settlements organized on land owned by someone other than the inhabitants. 

April 2018
Publication Cover
Fact Sheet

The concept of energy democracy is for people and communities to have control of their energy supply, like choosing whether it comes from fossil fuels or renewables, infrastructure considerations, and other options. Energy democracy focuses on poor and working class people of color, often most impacted by energy purchase decisions. In the case of Highland Park, the city has a majority African-American and Black population, with nearly half of residents living below the poverty line. Approximately 40% of the population reported difficulty in paying their energy bills, and multiple people reported illegal shut-offs, all of which suggest a high and possibly unjust energy burden on the population. These were some of the findings from the community survey on which Soulardarity and the Dow Fellows team collaborated.

Keywords: Energy democracy, Community Solar Calculator, Community Solar Power, Highland Park

April 2018

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