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3M Carbon Neutrality Seminar

Event Type
Greg Keoleian
February 14, 20229:00am - 10:00am

Accelerating Carbon Neutrality: Mobility, Buildings, Consumer Products, and Emerging Technologies


Climate change is a major threat to the planet’s life support system. To avoid the most adverse impacts (at 1.5 C threshold), global carbon emissions must be reduced 45% from a 2010 baseline by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Research at the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems focuses on analyzing energy transitions and climate solutions to address the urgency of the climate crisis. Accelerating progress to carbon neutrality requires an understanding of current carbon emissions and alternative reduction pathways. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a modeling tool for comprehensive accounting of greenhouse gas emissions associated with products and technologies. This seminar will present life cycle-based energy and carbon footprints for a wide range of products and carbon reduction strategies and interventions. Key findings from the Center for Sustainable Systems research on automobiles (conventional, lightweight, electrified, autonomous), buildings (whole buildings, appliances, lighting), and consumer products (food and packaging) will be highlighted to inform carbon neutrality research, technology development, consumer choices, and policy.


Dr. Greg Keoleian is the Peter M. Wege Endowed Professor of Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan and serves as Director of the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS; He is co-founder of the Center which celebrated its 30 th anniversary last year. He has appointments as Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and as Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1987. His research focuses on the development and application of life cycle models and sustainability metrics to guide the design and improvement of products and technology. Over the past three decades, he has collaborated with a wide range of businesses across diverse sectors, national labs, and government agencies at the national, state and local level. In 2007, he helped launch the Engineering Sustainable Systems dual masters’ degree program between the School for Environment and Sustainability and theCollege of Engineering to train a new breed of engineers in sustainable systems.  Dr. Keoleian served on the University of Michigan’s President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality and was named to the Reuters Hot List of the world's top climate scientists in 2021.

3M’s Role

3M has been a member of the External Advisory Board since the founding of the Center in 1991. Carrie Pearson has been an active member on the Board and 3M’s representative since 2018. While the Center was created through a national competition and grant from the US EPA, the Wege Foundation, along with the Ford Motor Company and 3M provided endowment support that helped establish CSS as a permanent Center at the University of Michigan.