Graham Sustainability Institute

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Search below to access a wide array of products that were generated or supported by the Graham Institute. For more U-M publications related to sustainability, search the U-M Deep Blue database.

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Fact Sheet

Any community considering a ban on natural gas hookups should know that current Michigan law will make it difficult to enact. A better option for Michigan communities interested in transitioning away from natural gas would be to encourage the state legislature to amend the construction code.

August 2020
Clean Energy in Michigan Series | Revising Regulations for Wind Energy (No. 9)
Fact Sheet

This case study of Casnovia Township, a farming community in West Michigan, presents the realities of forming and adapting wind regulations. As the study shows, developing wind regulations is an iterative process, and the first attempt will likely not be the last or the best attempt. 

August 2020
Clean Energy in Michigan Series | Planning for Renewable Energy (No. 10)
Fact Sheet

This case study of Huron County shows that community sentiment about renewable energy development can change over time. Once broadly supported as a land use compatible with the county’s agricultural goals, wind development has become an increasingly divisive topic among residents.

August 2020
Annual Report/Guide

In the Seventh 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 11 of U-M's 19 schools and colleges this past year.

July 2020
Paper/Project Report
As Earth’s climate rapidly changes, species range shifts are considered key to species persistence. However, some range-shifting species will alter community structure and ecosystem processes. By adapting existing invasion risk assessment frameworks, we can identify characteristics shared with high-impact introductions and thus predict potential impacts. There are fundamental differences between introduced and range-shifting species, primarily shared evolutionary histories between range shifters and their new community. Nevertheless, impacts can occur via analogous mechanisms, such as wide dispersal, community disturbance and low biotic resistance. As ranges shift in response to climate change, we have an opportunity to develop plans to facilitate advantageous movements and limit those that are problematic.
April 2020
Fact Sheet

Working with Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit, a Dow Fellows student team assessed how the social, economic, and environmental benefits have developed from Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO). CBO’s are tools that ensure that developers confirm the community benefits from a project to prevent harmful development and planning decisions. The team researched large-scale development projects and compared two projects from before and two from after the passage of Detroit’s CBO. They analyzed their data and determined recommendations are needed to improve the CBO process with additional resources being allocated to improve the quality of public participation. 

April 2020
Paper/Project Report

To facilitate interdisciplinary work in environmentalism, a Dow Distinguished Awards student team established a plan for a net-zero carbon research and education center in Costa Rica. This field station brings together scientists and students from the United States and Costa Rica and provides researchers with a place to investigate relevant sustainability and ecological topics. Working with Sustainability Without Borders, the U-M team constructed a thorough energy forecast that included present and desired electricity demand, gathered data on local renewable energy resources, and created a model to determine how energy could be harnessed most efficiently from crop residue. Compiling the data, the team created a blueprint for a microgrid system that will allow the station to become carbon neutral. This project comprises four phases with the first phase slated for completion in April 2020, and the project will be completed by April 2023. 

April 2020
Paper/Project Report

SPOUTS is a ceramic water filter manufacturer based in Uganda that aims to provide an effective and affordable water filter to households that lack access to clean water. A Dow Distinguished Award student team is working with Sustainability Without Borders to conduct consumer surveys and a social life cycle assessment to develop a deeper understanding of the social and environmental impact of SPOUTS water filters. This past summer, the U-M team traveled to Uganda to interview community members, distribute the filters and surveys, and train enumerators so they could survey the people after the team left. The team also purchased and donated 12 water filters to two primary schools to engage with the community. They helped install the filters, demonstrated use and maintenance, and provided education on water-borne illnesses.

April 2020
Fact Sheet

SPOUTS is a ceramic water filter manufacturer based in Uganda that aims to provide an effective and affordable water filter to households that lack access to clean water. A Dow Distinguished Award student team is working with Sustainability Without Borders to conduct consumer surveys and a social life cycle assessment to develop a deeper understanding of the social and environmental impact of SPOUTS water filters. This past summer, the U-M team traveled to Uganda to interview community members, distribute the filters and surveys, and train enumerators so they could survey the people after the team left. The team also purchased and donated 12 water filters to two primary schools to engage with the community. They helped install the filters, demonstrated use and maintenance, and provided education on water-borne illnesses.

April 2020
Fact Sheet

To facilitate interdisciplinary work in environmentalism, a Dow Distinguished Awards student team established a plan for a net-zero carbon research and education center in Costa Rica. This field station brings together scientists and students from the United States and Costa Rica and provides researchers with a place to investigate relevant sustainability and ecological topics. Working with Sustainability Without Borders, the U-M team constructed a thorough energy forecast that included present and desired electricity demand, gathered data on local renewable energy resources, and created a model to determine how energy could be harnessed most efficiently from crop residue. Compiling the data, the team created a blueprint for a microgrid system that will allow the station to become carbon neutral. This project comprises four phases with the first phase slated for completion in April 2020, and the project will be completed by April 2023. 

April 2020

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