UMaine's Sustainability Story

Jump to:

2000, 2005, 20102015, The Future


Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts designated as a Land Grant Institution


Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts renamed as the University of Maine


Edith Marion Patch, UMaine’s first woman scientist, arrives in Orono to start the Entomology Department


Initiation of the Maine Cooperative Extension


Fay Hyland Arboretum established


UMaine receives first Sea Grant of $100,300


UMaine professor Frank Eggert conducts research into organic growing methods


UMaine Climate Change Institute founded (formerly Institute for Quaternary Studies)


UMaine joins bi-state Sea Grant program with New Hampshire


UMaine Sustainable Agriculture program created


UMaine offers BS in Sustainable Agriculture


Black Bear Food Guild established


Maine Harvest for Hunger program

The Advanced Structures and Composites Center opens


UMaine Green Bikes program initiated


UMaine Dining adopts computerized ordering system

UMaine campus designated as an Arboretum

Formation of the UMaine Sustainability Alliance (CCI student initiative)


ENERGY STAR purchases required campuswide

Continuous Commissioning (Cimetrics) for major science and research buildings

Expansion of natural gas service on campus

UMaine Dining composts 19 metric tonnes of food waste

First Orono Community Garden

UMaine designated as a National Sea Grant College

UMaine Campus Carpool program

Extensive campus lighting upgrades (energy efficient lights & electric timers)


LEED silver standards applied to all new campus construction projects

6 hybrid-electric vehicles added to University fleet

Expansion of University-sponsored bus service to multiple local towns

UMaine Dining composts 22 metric tonnes of food waste

Formation of the UMaine Green Campus Initiative (eco-reps)

Partnership with Clean Air Cool Planet to develop GHG emissions inventory

Heating controls installed in resident rooms

Switch to LED emergency exit lights

UMaine Green Loan Fund ratified


Signed the State of Maine Governor’s Carbon Challenge (CO2 10% below 2005 levels by 2010)

UMaine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute receives $6.9M EPSCoR grant

Advanced Structures and Composites Center awarded LEED Certification

UMaine Environmental Solutions Initiative

UMaine Dining composts 29 metric tonnes of food waste

Steam plant & steam distribution system efficiency upgrades

Campuswide energy audits


Completed comprehensive GHG emissions inventory

UMaine implements Anti-Idling Policy for vehicles on campus

UMaine Green Team founded

UMaine hires utility/energy supervisor to manage energy consumption on campus

UMaine Dining installs dishroom pulper saving 400 gallons H2O per day

UMaine Dining composts 87 metric tonnes of food waste

UMaine Signs the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

Low-flow shower heads installed in residence halls

Implementation of environmental purchasing procedures

Recycling efforts reduce waste stream by 45%

Alfond Arena lighting upgrade

Custodial staff use “Green Cleaning” products


UMaine receives the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

UMaine hires full-time Sustainability Coordinator

Governor’s Carbon Challenge goals achieved 2 years ahead of schedule (CO2 10% below 2005 levels)

Foster Center for Student Innovation awarded LEED Silver

UMaine Dining composts 75 metric tonnes of food waste

New Balance Student Recreation Center awarded LEED Silver

Occupancy sensors and high-efficiency lighting installed in resident rooms and throughout residence halls


UMaine dining switches to centralized production

UMaine Black Bear Orono Express shuttle service begins

GCI revives Blue Bikes program

UMaine develops award-winning Campus Master Plan focused on sustainability

Wells Conference Center awarded LEED Silver

Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative receives $20M NSF EPSCoR Grant

UMaine Dining composts 127 metric tonnes of food waste

Formation of the DeepCwind Consortium funded by the Department of Energy

Central Steam Plant begins transition to natural gas fuel


UMaine dining commons go trayless

Completed installation of 600kW back-pressure turbine in Central Steam Plant

UMaine receives special recognition award from U.S. Green Building Council

UMaine Dining composts 139 metric tonnes of food waste

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

UMaine releases its Climate Action Plan


Second Nature Climate Leadership Award

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

Princeton Review Green Honor Roll

Zero-Sort single stream recycling implemented campuswide

UMaine builds new bike path

UMaine Dining composts 204 metric tonnes of food waste

Alfond Arena renovation and energy retrofit


President Ferguson elected to serve on ACUPCC Steering Committee

Terrell House Permaculture Living and Learning Center established

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

Princeton Review Green Honor Roll

UMaine dining commons switch to unlimited access

Offshore Wind Laboratory awarded LEED Gold

New 60,000 lb/hr boiler completes 100% natural gas conversion at Central Steam Plant

UMaine Dining composts 202 metric tonnes of food waste

On-campus advanced composting facility

Trash production down 35% since 2007

Recycling up by 37% since 2007

Energy use down 5% since 2006

GHG Emissions down 20% since 2006

UMaine Greens grows “local” food on campus


UMaine deploys VolturnUS 1:8, first concrete-composite floating wind turbine in the world

Nutting Hall energy retrofit

Stewart Commons renovations (New Media Center)

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

UMaine receives EPA Environmental Merit Award in partnership with Second Nature

UMaine Dining composts 156 metric tonnes of food waste

UMaine joins the EPA Food Recovery Challenge

UMaine Dining diverts approximately 97% of its food waste from landfills

Campus-wide sustainability and energy awareness programs

Umaine Dining sources 17% of food locally

UMaine diverted approximately 1077 Tons of waste from landfills/incinerators


President’s Council on Sustainability holds inaugural meeting

UMaine initiates Zero-Waste protocol at large campus events

UMaine joins EPA Waste Wise

President Ferguson elected to Vice Chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

University of Maine Foundation votes to increase Green Loan Fund to $500,000

Phase 1 of the Terrell House PLLC community garden completed


University of Maine System Board of Trustees votes to divest endowment from coal

UMaine achieves 2nd Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

Faculty Senate votes to support full divestment from fossil fuels within 5 years

UMaine recognized by EPA for its success in keeping food waste out of landfills

Student Government votes to support full divestment from fossil fuels

First Level-2 electric vehicle charging station installed

Parking Services sells its first faculty/staff electric vehicle parking/charging permit


Office of Sustainability hires half-time Outreach Coordinator

Power Dialog: Maine’s Energy Future, conference

PEAC conference and professional development event: Fundamentals of Sustainability, with host Jaimie Cloud

Featured in Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide

Two Level-2 electric vehicle charging stations installed for student use

2016 President’s Campus Leadership Award presented to the UMaine Green Team

Maine Day BBQ Zero-Waste event

Zero-Sort recycling and composting introduced at UMaine football games


UMaine Unplugged: dorm energy saving challenge

Maine’s public universities achieve a ten-year, 34% reduction in carbon emissions.

Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) principles now taken under consideration when completing asset allocation and investment manager reviews in the UMS Managed Investment Pool.

Inaugural issue of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability

Office of Sustainability
312-314 Corbett Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5774
Tel: 207.581.1571