MTU campus calling for focus on sustainability

HOUGHTON — Some members of the Michigan Tech community think sustainability efforts need to be improved at the university and are hoping to bring community members into a resolution for action.

The resolution calls for the creation of long-term goals, campus-wide sustainability integration and the formation of a sustainability committee, among many other recommendations.

“I think the call at this point is for people to re-engage,” said resolution co-author William Lytle. “It’s all of our responsibilities.”

A copy of the resolution is available at, where Lytle invites campus and community members to sign their support and make a personal pledge.

Lytle sees the new president and four new deans coming in as a chance for a renewed focus on sustainability.

“We want to make sure that sustainability is on the agenda and that they recognize that there are major things that need to be addressed,” Lytle said.

As things stand now, the resolution creators see MTU as behind in campus sustainability and understaffed to develop a sustainability program. This is where a sustainability committee could improve the focus by drafting a long-term sustainability plan for MTU, Lytle explained.

“There’s really advantages to being late to enacting sustainability on campus,” he said. “We can look around at other universities. We don’t need to deal with trial and error. We know what works, we can really leapfrog. Even though we’re behind now, we can still become leaders.”

As things stand now Lytle sees sustainability efforts as “siloed and uncommunicative,” which has an effect of discouraging efforts.

“We’ve developed many plans. The problem is getting the university to adopt them,” Lytle said.

In the meantime, community members can sign their support for the resolution and work to implement sustainability in their own lives.