U-M Planet Blue
Sustainable Computing

Our History

In the beginning...

In 2007, U-M accepted an invitation from Larry Page, Google co-founder and U-M alumnus, to join a new program called the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. This initiative had the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and save energy consumed by computing. The two-pronged approach encouraged use of power management settings on computers and monitors, and setting energy efficiency targets for computers, servers and components. U-M took the challenge to heart and extended it to all aspects of the entire computer lifecycle.

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative @ U-M included the following projects, the results of many of these you will find on this website:

U-M Green IT Program Grows to Become the Sustainable Workplace Certification Program

The Green IT Certification Program designed by the University of Michigan Sustainable Computing group rewarded units for their efforts in making IT more environmentally "green." The program encouraged green IT best practices and engaged and recognized units that demonstrated environmental stewardship through sustainable IT practices.

The program was implemented as the "Green IT Achievement Program" at the University of Michigan beginning in 2007. Since that time, 42 campus units have been certified, with 16 reaching the highest level, and several moving from lower to higher levels of certification as they implemented more sustainable practices.

In 2012, the successful U-M Green IT program was rolled into an expanded campus-wide program called the Sustainable Workplace Certification Program through the Office of Campus Sustainability, which was a great next step towards overall workplace sustainability. U-M staff and faculty are encouraged to join this new program and promote sustainable behavior across campus.

Some of Our Past Efforts

Power Management

Forty-five campus units at U-M signed on to reduce the power consumption of their desktop computers with the Computer Power and Patch Management (CPPM) service. As MiWorkspace took on the role of managing workstation power and patches, this service entered a phased retirement.

Controlling Campus Energy Consumption via the IP Network: A Feasibility Study for Achieving Energy Efficiency with Cisco EnergyWise

What is the potential for network-based technologies to collect, aggregate and communicate building energy data to enable informed, coordinated management by key decision makers?

This presentation sets out to answer the question and explores energy management technologies, surveys energy management practices at Universities and goes in depth with a University of Michigan case study. A 2011 SNRE Master's Project by Bryan Hogle, Hunt Briggs, Tim Haines and Sarah Howie

Implementing Power Save Settings at MAIS

The former Michigan Administrative Information Systems (now part of Information and Technology Services (ITS)) undertook implementation of the Sustainable Computing best practices. This Workstation Best Practice Case Study (2009) documents some of the challenges they encountered and the solutions they identified.


Since 2007 volunteers from over 25 units have contributed to the sustainable computing initiative, including:

  • Business & Finance
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Literature, Science, & the Arts
  • Department of Political Science
  • Duderstadt Center
  • Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute
  • Health Service Building Operations
  • Institute for Social Research
  • Information and Technology Services
  • Law School-IT Department
  • Medical School Information Services
  • Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute
  • Museum of Art
  • NextGen Michigan
  • Occupational Safety & Environmental Health
  • Office of the CIO
  • Office of the Executive Director-Plant Operations
  • Office of the Provost
  • Procurement Services
  • Ross School of Business
  • School of Natural Resources and Environment
  • School of Public Health
  • Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • U-M Health System Medical Center Information Technology (MCIT)
  • University Library
  • University Unions Food Services
  • Waste Management Services