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The need for global solutions to environmental, social, and economic challenges is greater than ever. The Center for Sustainable Systems, within the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, leads interdisciplinary research to support the design, assessment, and management of systems that meet societal needs in a more sustainable manner.

Research

The Center for Sustainable Systems develops and applies life cycle and systems analysis methods, models, and metrics for advancing sustainability and transforming systems to better meet human needs.  The Center has pioneered new methods in life cycle analysis, design and optimization and has led over 150 research projects focused on a wide range of topics including alternative vehicle technology, renewable energy systems, buildings and infrastructure, appliances, information technology, food and agricultural systems, and packaging alternatives.  Both basic and applied research is conducted in collaboration with stakeholders from the private and public sectors. 

Education

The Center contributes to interdisciplinary education at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels at the University of Michigan through curriculum development, internships, research opportunities and special workshops in the areas of industrial ecology and sustainability.  

Outreach

The Center also organized outreach activities for the university including the Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability and the Sustainable Systems Forum as well as developing and updating a collection of factsheet on topics in sustainability freely available for anyone to download.

Images courtesy of Ethan LabowitzSuperJet InternationalSpAvAAiDavid B. GleasonepSos.de, and Jaime Brown via flickr