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Sustainability Successes

Dear FM,

We’ve talked many times about how important our sustainability efforts are for the University of Minnesota. Today I’d like to highlight three big-time achievements and how FM played an important role to make them successful: engaging and educating students, renewable energy production and a major energy conservation milestone. 

Weeks of Welcome
Weeks of Welcome (WoW) is a program for the Class of 2024 and new transfer students. It is an extension of the U’s traditional Welcome Week program that all first-year students participate in. The program has been developed in response to COVID-19 and is designed to help students have a successful transition to the U. WoW is a multi-week mostly virtual program leading up to the first day of class. Students engage with a student leader, have opportunities to connect with other incoming students, and learn more about the U, along with the different resources that our campus offers. WoW began August 10 and goes through September 7 with each week focusing on a specific theme. This week, August 17-21, focuses on “Sustainability & Involvement.” Click on the links below to view the videos that our own sustainability team put together for this year’s WoW:

Congratulations to our sustainability team and their partners for putting together this awesome content for WoW!

Another On-Campus Solar Array Complete

Installation is now complete on the Twin Cities campus' ninth and final array of the on-campus solar project. Click here to watch the video where I highlight this solar array on the St. Paul campus in lot S104, across from the State Fair transit hub. It will produce approximately 481,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That's enough to power about 45 average Minnesota homes. In addition to sustainably producing energy, the carport design will keep vehicles in the lot cool from the heat of the sun in the summer and clear of snow in the winter. In total, around 2.4 million kilowatts of electricity are now produced on the Twin Cities campus solar arrays each year. Thanks to the collaborative effort of many University Services teams for working hard to make this project possible and advancing the U's renewable energy portfolio!

Energy Conservation = Savings
The University’s Twin Cities campus hit a major milestone of receiving 10 million dollars in rebates since the beginning of our 2008 baseline measure. These rebates come from our local utility companies, Xcel Energy and Centerpoint Energy, offering a conservation improvement program (CIP). CIP helps Minnesota households and businesses use electricity and natural gas more efficiently - conserving energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and lessening the need for new utility infrastructure. FM’s own Energy Management department leads the energy conservation program for the Twin Cities campus by identifying and implementing energy conservation projects and initiatives. Savings come from projects like lighting retrofits, upgrades to building equipment or controls, or other designs and modifications that save energy.

The topics presented here are part of the University of Minnesota sustainability program and the educational campaign It All Adds Up which provides direction and coordination for sustainability initiatives and strives to make sustainability accessible to all students, staff, and community members. Click here for more information. 

Have a great week!



Parking Enforcement Returns Today
Parking Enforcement will return to campus today, Monday, August 17. They will be issuing warning citations the first week of enforcement, August 17-21. Starting Monday August 24, citations that carry a fine/penalty will be issued. Some of us may have become accustomed to no enforcement occurring on campus. Be mindful of where you park and follow parking regulations.


  • The TRIRIGA kickoff recording and slides are posted on the EAM website

  • Live training starts today, August 17! Make sure you complete your pre-requisite eLearnings and sign-up for sessions. Talk with your supervisor who can help you enroll and make sure you are in the right sessions. You can “Find Your Training” on the TRIRIGA training website.

  • You can also learn more about What’s Changing in FM.

Kronos reminders

University Services Enrichment Program (USEP)
USEP is a career enrichment program for current full time Twin Cities University Services Teamster represented employees to obtain education in order to qualify for FM Mechanic positions. University Services offers an educational incentive program to encourage interested workers to obtain a 2-year degree in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). The program provides financial assistance, in the form of tuition reimbursement of up to $3,000 per school year ($1,500 per semester) for individuals who successfully complete course work and receive credit in a certified 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree in (HVAC). Five metropolitan area technical colleges offer degree programs, which match the required needs of the Mechanic 1, 2, and 3 positions: 

  • Century College - White Bear Lake  

  • Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount  

  • Dunwoody Institute - Minneapolis 

  • Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park

  • Minneapolis Community College - Minneapolis  

Applications for USEP are now being accepted. For more information and to complete an application click here: USEP information and link to apply. Note that current university mechanics 1, 2, and 3 are not eligible for this program. If you have further questions, contact Curt Holewa, HR Consultant, 612-624-6072 /

Wellbeing Program reminder

  • The Wellbeing Program year runs through August 31, 2020. Check out the Wellbeing Program website for updates to the current offerings and get your final  Wellbeing points. After August 31, the University is transitioning to a new platform called Virgin Pulse which will be available on October 1, 2020. Watch for more information!

Sneak Peek of HSEC
The state-of-the-art Health Sciences Education Center (HSEC) is one of the most comprehensive interprofessional education facilities in the country. As the new hub for U of M health professional schools, HSEC’s spaces promote interprofessional education and teamwork, as well as foster a culture that values student and faculty well-being. Click here to watch a short video preview of the building.

U of M COVID-19 resources and notes

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