Stadium recycling, the purchase of alternative wind power and excellence in environmental academics has helped propel Ohio State to six recent honors and awards earned through its efforts to be the “greenest” university in the nation.
In 2008, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Since then, the university has moved forward with strategic efforts to increase the environmental efficiency of its campus operations and the environmental consciousness of its students, faculty and staff.
Those efforts are paying off in many ways, not the least of which is the growing list of sustainability awards won by the university. In 2013, Ohio State has been presented with the following notable awards:
- Diversion Rate Champion for the 2012 Game Day Challenge, a national stadium recycling competition.
- National Champion in the second annual Environmental March Madness tournament, for demonstrated excellence in environmental academics and outstanding student and faculty engagement.
- 2012-13 US EPA College and University Green Power Challenge, for purchasing more green power than any other school in the Big 10.
“These awards are great recognition for the hard work being done every day by students, faculty and staff to make our university more sustainable,” said Ron Sega, vice president and enterprise executive for Energy and the Environment. “Ohio State is dedicated to advancing education, research and innovation for energy and the environment, with an emphasis on how those needs can be met sustainably.”
In addition to taking the top ranking in those competitions, Ohio State also received a No. 2 ranking in the US EPA’s Top 20 College and University leading green power purchasers competition, a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use; the Paw of Approval Award from Polar Bears International, awarded for Ohio State’s commitment and contribution to sustainability efforts across campus; and a “Silver” ranking from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, for its international reporting system to measure sustainability performance.
“We are extremely pleased to receive such recognition of our commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral university and reducing our environmental footprint,” said Jay Kasey, senior vice president for Administration and Planning. “We will continue to actively develop and implement plans to achieve the goal of being the greenest campus in America, both in reducing the energy consumption of our physical facilities and in promoting a culture of sustainability on campus.”