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Ohio University

FY13 Sustainability & Climate Action Report

Published: October 2013 Available electronically at Hard copies or PDF versions available by request only. Send requests to

On the cover: Office of Sustainability Graduate Assistant, Markie Miller, teaches volunteers about garden management during a spring work day. Photo credit: Megan Graver




Categorical Progress Academics & Research

7-58 7

Land Management


Outreach & Reporting








Fundraising & Endowment


Buildings & Energy Infrastructure


Climate Commitment


Climate Action Plan Report Acknowledgements

60 62-63

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Highlights: The 2012-2013 academic year marked an exciting time for sustainability efforts at Ohio University:

Executive Summary

In September 2012, the university published its first sustainability report.

In November 2012, President McDavis formally adopted the university’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), officially dissolving the Presidential Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning, putting implementation oversight into the hands of the entire university.

In January 2013, the university established its formal reporting body, Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL). This was created to streamline the sustainability implementation and communication processes at the university and to allow for complete transparency in sustainability and carbon-neutrality progress.

This issue of Ohio University’s Sustainability Report is the first to feature reporting progress made on both the Sustainability Plan (adopted in Summer 2011) and the Climate Action Plan (adopted in Fall 2012).

Note on Reporting Data: In an effort to offer a timely report, the inclusion of quantitative data in this report is, most commonly, post -dated. That is to say that this report reflects quantitative data such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and procurement data from FY12 and the qualitative, or programmatic, data from FY13. Since reporting for quantitative data (particularly GHG emissions) requires a significant amount of time, the completion of that data is not ready for reporting until January the following year. Where possible, we have noted the date discrepancies.

Interpreting the Sustainability Report: The Sustainability Report offers highlights, progress narratives, roadblocks and next steps for each of the 35 Benchmarks of the Ohio University Sustainability Plan. For ease of comprehension, each Benchmark has been allocated at least one full page for reporting purposes (several Benchmarks required additional space). Changes from FY12 Report: The Sustainability Report that was published in October 2012 contained “progress bars” which showed a level of completion that had been attained for each benchmark. Feedback provided from the campus community suggested that such a reporting tool was both difficult to interpret and lacked scientific verification of the assessment (since some of the benchmarks are qualitative and others more quantitative). In response to this feedback, the progress bars have been removed in this issue of Ohio University’s Sustainability Report.


Interpreting the Climate Action Report: This issue of the Sustainability Report is the first to contain a report on the Climate Action Plan which was formally adopted in Fall 2012. In the interest of space and public comprehension, it was decided that the Climate Action Plan report was best published as a separate section within the Sustainability Plan. This was voted on by the Office of Sustainability staff as the most appropriate mechanism since many of the goals within the Climate Action Plan align with various benchmarks of the Sustainability Plan.

Publication Medium: ISSUU ( was selected as the publication medium for all documents published by the Office of Sustainability. This includes the Sustainability Plan, Climate Action, Plan, Sustainability Reports, Routes e-zine and other, longer documents. This format was selected in an effort to deter unnecessary printing of large documents. The excessive paper, ink and energy consumed by printing these documents were deemed contradictory to the Office of Sustainability’s mission. The printing process associated with ISSUU is intentionally cumbersome so as to encourage users to reconsider their printing needs. If anyone should need a PDF of these documents, however, they are encouraged to email their request to

Feedback: The implementation and reporting mechanisms developed by the university are deeply dependent on public feedback. We welcome any thoughts about the formatting of this plan, projections for future action and suggestions for additional implementation items that could be accomplished in the future. Feedback can be submitted electronically at the Office of Sustainability’s website.

Executive Summary

This inaugural issue of the Climate Action Report contains updates on progress made toward any CAP goals that are approaching within 3 years. The full Climate Action Plan can be viewed online if readers wish to review goals through the year 2075.

Photo Credits: Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were taken by OHIO staff or volunteers and are, therefore, property of Ohio University. Please contact if you wish to utilize any of the photos in this document.


Prioritized Sustainability Plan Benchmarks: The following list of Sustainability Plan Benchmarks is listed in order of institutional priorities. 1

Benchmarks by Priority 6

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Reduce institutional greenhouse gas emissions Note: Benchmark 1 encompasses the overarching goal of the Climate Action Plan Reduce campus and building energy intensity Increase renewable energy LEED certify new buildings and major renovations on all campuses Reduce solid waste Institute annual sustainability profile tracking and assessment process Increase recycling rates Improve sustainability literacy of students, faculty and staff Increase enrollment in sustainability-themed courses, majors, and programs Integrate sustainability goals and objectives into capital campaign Provide undergraduate students with a sustainability-focused major, degree program, or equivalent Evaluate LEED EBOM of existing facilities Prohibit the installation of permanent irrigation systems that rely on potable water Increase purchase of local food Improve identification and proper handling of hazardous waste Improve sustainability profile of student, staff, and faculty vehicles Institute storm water management plan Improve sustainability profile of campus fleet Increase use of green cleaning products Increase the percentage of paper products on campus that include post-consumer recycled content Assess endowment investment in sustainable corporations and entities and recommend strategies for increasing investment in these corporations and entities Implement recruitment strategies targeting sustainability-minded students, faculty, and staff Strengthen sustainability research activities Prohibit elective use of Styrofoam materials and containers Sub-meter campus facilities Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Decrease use of Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV) Increase purchase on non-food local goods and services and environmentally preferable goods Increase purchase of environmentally preferable computer products Provide information to diners regarding sustainability-attributes of food options Develop sustainability guidelines for concessionaires and franchisees Increase food donations to local service organizations Encourage residency in City of Athens for Athens campus employees Implement notification system for local service organizations regarding availability of surplus items Define and track sustainability research activities


Academics and Research

Benchmark 8: Improve sustainability literacy of students, faculty, and staff Target and Date: December, 2011 – Define ‘sustainability literacy’ June 2012 – establish ‘sustainability literacy’ baseline Annually – increase sustainability literacy among students, faculty and staff by 5%

Highlights: EECC hosted the Energy Efficiency for your Home event (pictured below) to assist Faculty and Staff increase their personal sustainability literacy while reducing their home energy bills.

Academics and Research

Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL) was founded and implementation meetings were held weekly during Spring 2013 semester. Student leader and SOUL member, Alex Slaymaker, worked with a variety of campus constituents to replace plastic bags at orientation with post-consumer recycled content paper bags for Orientation 2013. This is the first step in increasing sustainability literacy and improving the sustainable attributes of Bobcat Student Orientation.

Progress Overview: The SOUL (Sustainable Ohio University Leaders) program, a liaison group aimed at assisting in further implementation of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan, began in December 2012 and was active throughout Spring Semester 2013. SOUL members (or, as we call them, SOULmates) have addressed many benchmarks in the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan. Various implementation strategies have been addressed and executed. Baseline data collection on sustainability literacy of the student body is underway. A sustainability survey was administered to all incoming first year students in the fall 2012 semester (70% response rate) and to exiting seniors at the end of the spring 2013 semester (16% response rate) to assess literacy in the subject. This step will allow the University to track sustainability of incoming classes and compare it to their level of sustainability literacy upon graduation of the university. The first within-class comparison will be available once the class of 2016 takes the exiting sustainability survey (May 2016). A brief overview of FY13 results are offered on the next page and full results can be viewed by following the link below the graphs offered. It should be noted that the Sustainability Literacy surveys have only been conducted on the student body. Surveys have yet to be administered to faculty and staff since an appropriate mechanism yielding high response rates has yet to be determined. It is anticipated that the Common Experience Project on Sustainability (CEPS) will host a faculty/staff professional development workshop in FY14. It is the hope of the Office of Sustainability that initial surveying can occur at that event. Steps have been taken to integrate sustainability literacy into the Bobcat Student Orientation program, which occurs every summer for incoming first year students. During the 2013 orientation, plastic bags that are handed out to students in attendance will be replaced with post-consumer recycled bags. The bags will be imprinted with educational information on sustainability.


Benchmark 8, cont’d: Progress Overview, cont’d: Human Resources has begun including Sustainability and Recycling in their New Employee Orientation sessions. This allows the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Refuse and Recycling to offer comprehensive introductions to the sustainable behavior expectations of OHIO faculty and staff and allows interested individuals to become further involved by participating in the efforts of SOUL.

The Common Experience Project completed its first year under the sustainability theme. Check out the video above to learn more about the project and other educational sustainability

Academics and Research

Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee (EECC) committed to hosting additional programming relating to sustainability and energy conservation. It is anticipated that, in line with their Spring 2013 Energy Conservation for the Home event, these increased programmatic opportunities will target faculty and staff comprehension of sustainability-related concepts and behaviors both in the workplace and in their personal lives.

Next Steps: Over the next four years, data will be collected from incoming first year students and graduating seniors. Once the class of 2016 has taken both the incoming and exiting survey, baseline data can be obtained about the extent of sustainability literacy gained while enrolled at Ohio University-Athens. The baseline data on students has been collected and is provided on the following page. Moving forward, strategies to infuse sustainability into the curriculum by the Common Experience Project on Sustainability will aim to increase student literacy by 5% annually. In FY14, it is recommended that Office of Sustainability work collaboratively with the Common Experience Project on Sustainability to address and assess faculty and staff sustainability literacy. SOUL will continue to be marketed and implemented. It is anticipated that SOUL’s growth will have a direct correlation with increased comprehension of sustainability at OHIO.

Reporting Bodies: Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee, Office of Sustainability, Common Experience Project on Sustainability, Sustainable Ohio University Leaders


Benchmark 8, cont’d. Sustainability Literacy Survey Data, Students: Sustainability Literacy surveys were conducted on incoming first year students in Fall 2012 via the CIRP and on graduating seniors via an emailed survey. Side-by-side results are offered here. Sustainability Literacy surveys have not yet been conducted on faculty or staff.

1. What do you believe is the best definition of Sustainability?

70 60

A. Living within your means



Reduce, reuse, recycle



Eating a well-balanced diet


Academics and Research

D. Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.

First-Years Graduates

20 10 0 A

2. What do you feel are the most important aspects of sustainability?


A. Environmental preservation and conservation.



Social health and well-being



Economic vitality


D. All of the above E.

None of the above


A. Yes


70 50 First-Years Graduates

20 10 0 A

3. Have you calculated your own carbon footprint?






80 70 60



50 40



What’s a Carbon Footprint?



20 10 0 A



A full-detailed review of both sets of survey results can be viewed on the Office of Sustainability’s Supplemental Data website.


Benchmark 9: Increase enrollment in sustainability-themed courses, majors and programs Target and Date: December, 2011 – Define sustainability-themed courses, majors, and programs. Determine baseline Annual – 5% increase in sustainability – themed course offerings and enrollment

Progress Overview: Courses: Sustainability-Themed courses by academic term (includes undergraduate and graduate enrollment at all campuses): Fall 2011 (Q)

Winter 2012 (Q)

Spring 2012 (Q)

Summer 2012 (Q)

Fall 2012 (S)

Spring 2013 (S)

Summer 2013 (S)

Fall 2013 (S) Subject to change

% of students enrolled in sustainability courses









% of classes defined as “sustainabilitythemed”









Q=Quarter, S=Semester Majors: As of FY13, there were over 250 possible undergraduate majors offered at Ohio University. Of those, 15 were defined as “Sustainability-Themed,” allowing for 6% of institutional majors to qualify as sustainable.

Academics and Research

“Sustainability Themed” has been defined to consider both “sustainability-focused” and “sustainability-related” content in an effort to be more inclusive of faculty efforts and to be compliant with national reporting processes. “Sustainability-Focused” courses concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. “Sustainability-Related” courses are courses which incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue.

Programs: “Programs” at Ohio University are determined, for the sake of this benchmark, as all entities identified at the following link: Of the 76 entities listed in FY13, one was identified as sustainabilitythemed (Environmental Studies), allowing for a baseline of 1.3% of institutional programs qualifying as sustainable. For more details regarding the process involved in establishing baseline data and the ongoing tracking of this information, please review the Supplemental Reporting Data for Benchmark 9.

Next Steps: Office of Sustainability will assume responsibility for the continued tracking of sustainability courses now that a multi-year baseline is established. Common Experience Project on Sustainability will encourage growth of these course offerings and assist in the tracking/reporting of associated increases in the courses that are tracked.

Reporting Bodies: Common Experience Project on Sustainability, Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee, Office of Sustainability, University College, Enrollment


Benchmark 11: Provide undergraduate students with a sustainability- focused major, degree program, or equivalent Target and Date: 2015 – One major, degree program or equivalent

Highlight: The Honors Tutorial College has formalized the Environmental Studies undergraduate degree! The first enrolled student will begin the program’s coursework in Fall 2013.

Student Spotlight:

Academics and Research

Hallie Zarbakhsh is the first student to be accepted into the Environmental Studies undergraduate program offered by Honors Tutorial College and will begin classes for the program in Fall 2013. Office of Sustainability had the opportunity to interview Hallie about the program, her interests and her career goals: How did you learn about this program? I had originally been enrolled in the Environmental and Plant Biology program at Ohio University. At my HTC interview, I learned about the upcoming (Environmental Studies) program. It had not been approved yet, so I actually wasn't officially part of the program until late summer. But hey, good things come to those who wait, right? What made you choose to enroll in the program? Ever since I was eight years old( maybe sooner, maybe later, but eight is a good solid number) I knew I wanted to help the environment. In my mind I was going to be the real world Captain Planet, eradicating pollution and setting the world back into balance. My parents are nature lovers, and took me to forests and lakes and shores so I could see how beautiful the world is. Years later, I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew it had to revolve around the big blue ball that revolves around the Sun. Also, the one-on-one, self-tailored flexibility and possibility within the program was definitely a big push to get me into the Environmental Studies program. What type of coursework can you expect to enroll in? This program is a very comprehensive smorgus board of opportunities. I am expected to take one tutorial each semester and have a solid background in natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. I had originally planned to be an environmental scientist, but hard science isn't exactly my forte. Being in this program introduced me to the policy side of environmentalism, which is in desperate need of a boost...I will have a background in the physical, political, and social aspects of the world. What are your career goals and how will this program help you attain those goals? I’m still a little fuzzy on what I want to do. Hmmm…right now I am thinking about being an environmental lawyer, and working for a non-profit like Earth Justice. I am interested in human rights just as much as ecological ones, which not-so-surprisingly go hand in hand. I’ve also considered choosing a path along the lines of international relations, and being a sort of “environmental diplomat” between nations. Or maybe I’ll become a druid. It all depends. My program is tailored specifically to me, and I get to take the classes I want to as long as they fit a certain set of specifications. I also have a fantastic support network to teach, support, and direct me along the way. These include my Director of Studies, Geography professor Dr. Geoff Buckley, a fantastic mentor and all around cool guy, Dr. Harold Perkins, a political geographer that got me interested in environmental justice, Dr. Geoff Dabelko of the Voinovich School, who has worked for the Smithsonian Institute and teaches environmental diplomacy, regulation, and communication between divisions, Dr. Debatin, the HTC Journalism DOS who teaches a mean Environmental and Science Journalism class, complete with comprehensive local field trips, and more professors I will meet in the future. This is a preeminent shout out. Anything else you’d like to share with us? I am enthralled with the scope of sustainable and innovative opportunities at OU. From the clubs to the classes to the Voinovich school, the Eco House and the student gardens, the Campus Involvement Center environmental justice spring break trip (check it out!), and other programs I can’t wait to integrate myself into this kaleidoscope of awesome. Also, my favorite color is glitter. That is all.

Reporting Body: Provost


Benchmark 23: Strengthen sustainability research activities Target and Date: 2012-2013: 24% increase in full-time faculty engaged in sustainability research and 75% increase in sustainability research in all academic departments and centers by 2020 or a 5% increase per year in each category beginning 2012-2013.

Highlight: FY13 data yields a 72% overall increase in faculty engaged in sustainability research.

In FY12, 55 faculty were identified as currently engaged in sustainability research activities. In FY 13, 76 faculty were identified as currently engaged in sustainability research activities. That yields at 72% overall increase in faculty engaged in sustainability research activities. Though, we are aware that we are not adequately capturing all institutional research in sustainability (see Benchmark 35 for a more thorough overview of the tracking process and plans for future initiatives). We recognize that there is a great need to better educate our researchers about the definition of sustainability, encourage increased and continued investments in sustainability research and incentivize faculty efforts toward sustainable research endeavors. The Target and Date of this benchmark focus purely on the research of OHIO faculty. It is important, however, to note that a large number of students are focusing their academic research on topics relating to sustainability. Since this Benchmark currently requires tracking of faculty data only, this report is not inclusive of student research and their associated faculty supporters. We applaud the effective research efforts of our students and will continue to support and encourage increased sustainability research activities of our talented student body.

Above: Student researcher, Alexander Doksa, featured his work with Acid Mine Drainage at the Spring 2013 Student Expo.


Next Steps:

Currently, there is no centralized system that reports on all faculty-led research at the university. Therefore, we must rely on faculty self-reporting efforts to offer data on progress made within this benchmark. We recognize a need to offer incentives for conducting sustainability research but lack the financial means to do so at this time.

It is necessary to increase encouragement of faculty engaging in sustainability research activities. We are hopeful that increased faculty professional development programming led by the Common Experience Project on Sustainability will offer additional education about sustainability, encourage increased research on the topic and provide insights into some of the obstacles that faculty may encounter in trying to accommodate this benchmark.

Academics and Research

Progress Overview:

Additional conversations regarding financial incentive programs should occur in FY14. Please see the “Progress Overview� in the report for Benchmark 10 for more information about this recommended Next Step.

Reporting Bodies: Center for Excellence in Energy and Environment (CE3), Common Experience Project on Sustainability and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs


Benchmark 35: Define and track sustainability research activities Target and Date: July 2011: Define ‘sustainability research activities’ September 2011: Conduct inventory of sustainability research activities by faculty, department, collaboration, awards and award dollars

Highlight: A current inventory of known sustainability-research activities (including faculty name, department, collaborating parties and overall award dollars) has been collected and is available for viewing online.

Academics and Research

Progress Overview: In FY12, a definition of sustainability research activities was created: “Sustainability” research activities must be multidisciplinary and must advance knowledge in all three of the tenets of sustainability: preserving the planet, promoting a strong economy and fostering healthy populations. It was determined that research activities that would be included in the inventory of sustainability research activities would include controlled terms from each of the three tenets of sustainability. A list of controlled terms for sustainability research activities was created. Annually, the Office of Sustainability searches institutional databases for the presence of these controlled terms in current institutional research. Additionally, we work with the Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment to track research being performed by faculty through the CE3 program. An inventory of 76 faculty members potentially conducting current research has been created and is publicly available. This inventory was merged with a similar inventory created by the Center for Excellence in Energy and Environment (CE3). To avoid future duplicative work, it was decided that Office of Sustainability will work with CE3 to collaborate on the development of future reporting inventories.

Faculty are encouraged to self-report their sustainability-related research activities through an online form available on the Office of Sustainability website. Next Steps: It is important to encourage faculty to self-report their research practices to the Office of Sustainability so we may more adequately capture a comprehensive list of current sustainability-related research at Ohio University. It is recommended that SOUL work to assist with marketing the need for self-reporting. Office of Sustainability will work with Center for Excellence in Energy and Environment to streamline their current reporting efforts, yielding more efficient and accurate results for both offices annually.

Reporting Bodies: Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Center for Excellence in Energy and Environment, Office of Sustainability



Land and Resource Management

Benchmark 13: Prohibit the installation of permanent irrigation systems that rely on potable water Target and Date: Total ban by June 2011


Land and Resource Management

Current general operating procedures implemented by the Office of Design and Construction at Ohio University restrict permanent irrigation systems that rely on potable water.

OHIO’s Residential Housing department is currently in the design phase of an exciting new residential hall building. Staff within that department are excited to explore options for greywater storage and usage. It is anticipated that the leadership shown by Residential Housing will be able to serve as a model for future construction practices at Ohio University.

Progress Overview: Design and Construction, Office of Sustainability and the Office of Recycling and Refuse are collaborating to develop amendments to the university’s current Design Standards. These amendments would include the prohibition of irrigation systems that utilize potable water. University irrigation practices currently utilize a greywater system through a retention pond at the university golf course. Additional greywater systems will need to exist to maintain environmentally preferable practices.

Next Steps: Various entities across campus will continue to work together to develop formalized design standards that explicitly prohibit this action that is currently practiced on our campus. Additionally, plans created by Residential Housing will assist in future developments in this areas.

What is potable water and why is it such a big deal? Although a foreign term to many Americans, potable water (pronounced pote-able) simply refers to water that is safe for human consumption. The Safe Drinking Water Act, passed by Congress in 1974, is the law that ensures that safe drinking water in America is, in fact, safe. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the standards that water needs to pass in order to be considered potable water. Although non-potable water is not safe for human consumption, it does not mean that it has no use. Non-potable water can come from various sources, including rainwater runoff, air conditioner condensate, and greywater collection. Greywater refers to water that has been used for another purpose, such as to run an appliance (dishwasher, shower, washing machine) or to wash your hands or do the dishes. It cannot include human, organic or toxic waste. Once the water has been used, it is no longer safe to drink but can be re-used in other ways in place of potable water. Irrigating lawns, trees, and gardens and flushing a toilet are all activities that can safely use nonpotable water, thus preserving safe drinking water for its’ intended purpose. Benchmark 13 indicates that Ohio University is making an effort to avoid using potable water for any permanent irrigation system on campus. Although this is a large-scale effort, individuals can do their part to conserve potable water use in their own homes by substituting for non-potable water when appropriate. Small-scale efforts might include a rainwater collection barrel or air conditioner condensate collection system to use throughout the yard for irrigation purposes. The air conditioner condensate collection system is especially useful in warm, humid climates and can salvage multiple gallons per day! A greywater collection system can also be installed indoors and direct the water to be used to flush a toilet. Practices such as these ensure that water that can be re-used is not being unnecessarily wasted.

Reporting Bodies: Design and Construction, Facilities Management, Office of Sustainability


Benchmark 17: Institute storm water management plan Target and Date: Plan adopted June 2012

As an institution committed to green building practices, all new construction and renovations on any Ohio University campus will consider a storm water management plan. As the university began its design phase for the Housing Development Plan in FY13, it was clear that considerable measures must be taken to manage volume and water quality control, especially with the project’s proximity to the Hocking River. A feasibility study conducted by the engineering firm Evans, Mechwart, Hambleton & Tilton, Inc. led the university to actively seek a partnership with the City of Athens and the Hocking Conservancy on storm water management practices. The resulting efforts suggested that all entities will work together now and into the future by holistically approaching storm water management to appropriately share access to release points along the Hocking River. While a formal, written agreement does not yet exist between these entities, such a valuable and proactive partnership on best practices suggests that future efforts on campus and in the city will offer significant benefits to the quality of waters and soils in Southeast Ohio. Many times, a storm water management plan can be difficult to see with the naked eye. Though, in FY13, Ohio University completed construction of a sophisticated storm water management plan at the Compost Facility on the Athens campus. Tours of this facility can be requested through online Tour Request Form.

Regional Campus Highlight: In August 2012, Ohio University’s Southern campus became the first of OHIO’s campuses to install Pervious Concrete in an effort to encourage increased sustainability in its storm water management efforts. This Pervious Concrete was installed in a high traffic parking lot that had, previously, been subject to flooding during heavy rains. The “holes” in the concrete allows for water to be filtered through layers of concrete, gravel. sand and soil so as to reduce the load on the city’s storm sewers and to protect the groundwater from contamination commonly caused by parking lot runoff.

Above: The Pervious Concrete parking lot at OU Southern. Left: A close-up view of the pervious concrete contrasted by the nonpervious concrete.

Below: OU Southern has instituted other storm water

Next Steps: Ohio University’s Office of Design and Construction will continue to work with the City of Athens to further identify partnership opportunities. Should formal agreements be developed, though will be added to the institution’s design standards and included in this report accordingly.

management efforts such as a n underground retention area (pictured below) to mitigate flooding from run-off during intense storms.

Land and Resource Management

Progress Overview:

OU Southern celebrated its one year anniversary of installing pervious concrete in August 2013. It is anticipated that they’ll be able to offer best practices to Design and Construction as time goes on.

Reporting Body: Design and Construction


Benchmark 26: Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Target and Date: Plan adopted by 2011


Land and Resource Management

Approximately 85% of current university grounds keeping practices comply with an Integrated Pest Management Approach. Below: A student reads a sign about OHIO IPM practices. We need a picture here‌.

What is Integrated Pest Management? Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a responsible approach to the eradication of pests in human-managed spaces such as campus grounds, home gardens/landscapes, and agricultural land. IPM eliminates the need for petroleum-based insecticides and favors natural solutions to pest management by considering soil needs, crop rotations, natural predators, pest life -spans and more.

Progress Overview: Currently, it is estimated that all grounds are maintained with a minimum of 85% compliance toward an Integrated Pest Management Program. Campus Grounds and Environmental Health and Safety work collaboratively to limit chemical spray treatments of non-aggressive pest management. Insecticide is used only on an emergency basis across campus; manual labor of hand-picking is the preferred practice for pest management on campus grounds. Such efforts significantly reduce the water and toxins utilized on our grounds, making the soil, habitats and human population healthier. It should also be noted that signage is offered in all locations where such practices are in place in an attempt to educate our campus of these operating procedures.

Insecticides contain harmful chemicals that can destroy soils, kill beneficial pests, or even cause harm to the health humans and their pets. Additionally, the materials used to create insecticides have a large carbon footprint. Ohio University recognizes the importance of eliminating these toxins and carbon-intensive materials from our landscapes.

Next Steps: Office of Sustainability will work collaboratively with campus grounds to formalize these IPM procedures by incorporating written information of these strategies into training manuals and/or general operating procedures.

Reporting Bodies: Design and Construction, Facilities Management/Campus Grounds



Outreach and Reporting

Benchmark 6: Institute annual sustainable profile tracking and assessment process Target and Date: Formal mechanism implemented within 3 months of Sustainability Plan adoption


Outreach and Reporting

The Sustainability Report contains a minimum of one page per Benchmark for comprehensive and transparent reporting of each item. The Climate Action Plan has been included in this report, published annually in October/November of each year.

This report is strategically published through an online tool called ISSUU that reduces ease of printing. Should an individual require a format of this document that can be printed, a request for a PDF version can be sent to

This year’s format has been changed slightly from the FY12 report in response to excellent feedback from our campus community. Thank you!

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

The document at hand serves as the annual tracking and assessment process for internal reporting of the Sustainability Plan.

This report will continue to evolve through feedback from readers regarding its ease of comprehension and readability.

All individuals are invited to offer feedback regarding this document, its layout, medium and contents by completing an online Feedback Form. All feedback gathered through this form will be compiled, discussed and considered in next year’s report. Additionally, it should be noted that the Office of Sustainability reports to numerous external agents such as American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the Princeton Review. Additional reporting pieces are submitted to agencies to which the university does not formally belong at this juncture (such as the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Reporting Tool through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).

As noted to the left: All individuals are invited to offer feedback regarding this document, its layout, medium and contents by completing an online Feedback Form. All feedback gathered through this form will be compiled, discussed and considered in next year’s report.

Reporting Bodies: Sustainable Ohio University Leaders, Office of Sustainability,


Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee

Benchmark 22: Implement recruitment strategies targeting sustainability-minded students, faculty and staff Target and Date: Fall 2012: use the sustainability profile of the school as a tool to recruit students with an expressed interest in sustainability. Faculty and staff will be recruited based on an expressed interest in sustainability and environmental issues.


Current student recruitment materials do contain information about sustainability efforts at the university.

In FY13, the Office of Sustainability moved office locations to the Bingham House. It is at this location where visitors must stop to receive a visitor parking pass. In an effort to provide additional information to visiting prospective students, Office of Sustainability provides informational materials at either entrance of this building.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

Current student recruitment materials do contain information about sustainability efforts at the university. Though, SOULmates all agree that more information can be provided to incoming students.

University College has been instrumental in assisting with further recruitment tactics relating to sustainability. They have graciously arranged to allow an Office of Sustainability graduate student to participate in a Bobcat Student Orientation session and a campus tour in summer 2013. Participation in these activities will allow the Office of Sustainability to determine what additional sustainability-related information can be provided to students during the campus tour.

Human Resources is entering a new employee recruitment campaign featuring videos of current employees. Office of Sustainability will be included in the content of this video project so as to offer more information to prospective employees about sustainability at the university and in the region. In FY13, the sustainability profile of the university was highlighted in Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges. Since the Princeton Review is utilized by many young students as a resource for selecting a college or university, Ohio University is honored to be selected as one of these top schools.

Additional efforts must be taken, though, to offer increased information to prospective students, faculty and staff. Current students and employees are invited to offer feedback regarding where they personally searched for information about Ohio University prior to committing to working and learning here. Such information will help us to better determine where information is lacking or inappropriately posted.

“Sustainability” is offered a relatively prominent location on the Ohio University webpage (under the “About” section). This web-based location offers excellent visibility to prospective campus community members.

Feedback can be submitted electronically through the Office of Sustainability’s online Feedback Form.

Outreach and Reporting

Human Resources is entering a new employee recruitment campaign featuring videos of current employees. Office of Sustainability will be included in the content of this video project.

Reporting Bodies: Human Resources, Undergraduate Admissions, Office of Sustainability


Benchmark 30: Provide information to diners regarding sustainabilityattributes of food options Target and Date: Labeling and marketing program by 2012

Highlights: Culinary Services provides a variety of sustainable and/or local food options in the Dining Courts/Halls. Guests can utilize the icon system (provided on the following page) to find the food items that fit their interests and dietary needs.

Outreach and Reporting

Atrium Café in Grover Center on the Athens Campus was recognized as a “Certified Green Restaurant” by the National Green Restaurant Association. It should be noted that Atrium Café is an entity separate from Auxiliaries which manages the Dining Courts/ Halls. Right: Atrium Café staff pictured with their designation logo. (the logo is pictured in the bottom right corner)

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

Campus residents and guests who are interested in consuming foods with a low carbon footprint, or items that are locally produced/manufactured, are invited to utilize Culinary Services’ Nutritional Icon Guide. These informative, color-coded icons are displayed on Culinary Services' website ( and within each of their venues. Such icons were designed to help students and guests to not only better understand Culinary Services' meticulous food preparation process, but the numerous special food options available to them as well. Furthermore, each icon empowers customers to select foods that better meet their needs as a responsible and sustainable member of the Ohio University campus community.

The icon system in the Dining Courts/ Halls is exceptionally beneficial for the ease of finding the sustainabilityattributes one may be looking for. However, this program does not educate those diners who are not already personally invested in a low-carbon diet. Therefore, additional education and outreach needs to occur in an effort for students to better understand their connection to sustainability through their plate.

Additionally a variety of sustainability-related educational programs occurred in the OHIO Residential Dining Courts/Halls in FY13. 

A student intern in the Office of Sustainability, Austin Stahl, hosted a “Food Waste Reduction Week” in Nelson Court in April 2013. The week’s events featured an educational table set-up in the dining hall explaining the importance of reducing diner food waste, a significant source of waste at OHIO. Surveys assisted in discerning the motivations behind diner-generated food waste in an effort to help curb this activity in the future.

Office of Sustainability will work closely with Culinary Services to ensure that diners understand the importance of investigating the origin, type and quality of their food products.

Culinary Services, in partnership with the Culinary Services Development Committee (CSDC) has plans to partner with other campus entities and provide a free reusable bag to all 2013-2014 residential students on a meal plan.

Additionally, these entities will work to better define “sustainability” as it relates to campus food products and dietary needs.

Reporting Bodies: Ohio University Auxiliaries, Atrium Café and Kennedy Museum Café



Outreach and Reporting

Outreach and Reporting Above: “From Garbage to Garden� artwork. Student sustainability leaders, Alex Slaymaker and Austin Stahl, collaborated with OHIO students, faculty and staff in the creation of an original educational "Garbage to Garden" poster that explains the campus composting process and its importance to the community. Posters were professionally framed and positioned near key composting points within every campus Dining Court/Hall and West 82 Food Court in Baker University Center.




Benchmark 14: Increase purchase of local food Target and Date: 0.5% per year between 2011 and 2016

Highlights: Culinary Services regularly offers students and employees the opportunity to buy locally produced/packaged food items within many of their venues, including West 82 Food Court in Baker University Center and their Campus Markets. In March, in an effort to further inform customers of the local products and services available to them on OHIO's campus, Culinary Services hosted a Customer Appreciation Day and invited local vendors to showcase and sell their products at West 82 Food Court, a centrally-located OHIO student/ faculty/staff environment in Baker University Center.


Progress Overview: Baseline data was obtained so that future efforts may progress. In the current reporting year, OHIO purchased $554,835.72 in food items produced by local farmers/manufacturers (out of a total of $11,144,760). Thus, 4.98% of the overall institutional annual spend on food items is dedicated to local food. A .5% increase will suggest that the university be able to report that $610,732.85 was spent on local food items, an increase of $55,897.13 (numbers are approximate as they assume no change in overall spend).


Next Steps:

Since Ohio University is deeply connected to a community that values the local food movement, it is important to note the many obstacles that must be addressed in the advancement of this Benchmark.

Ohio University Auxiliaries has made a deep and meaningful commitment to streamline their reporting processes in an effort to offer transparent reports to the campus community. In the coming years, “local” food products will be highlighted in the bid process so as to ensure that an increase in local purchases and accurate reporting can occur.

Previous food tracking processes limited the university’s ability to track local food purchases. Therefore, no baseline data exists prior to the current fiscal year. In FY13, Auxiliaries developed advanced tracking mechanisms, though growth rates cannot yet be tracked.

OHIO’s streamlined food preparation process demands that products be standardized, an offering that many local farmers cannot yet provide.

Culinary Services must ensure that their HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) Plan and state procurement procedures are followed. They are currently identifying opportunities to source more locally within that framework.

Many smaller, local food producers do not have electronic invoice processes, making business transactions more cumbersome.

Reporting Bodies: Ohio University Auxiliaries,


Atrium Café, Kennedy Museum Café

Office of Sustainability will assist Ohio University Auxiliaries by providing guidelines to food providers regarding the tracking requests of “local” foods. Additionally, increased diner marketing will occur. The Customer Appreciation Day event noted above was very well received, and Culinary Services looks forward to hosting a similar event in Spring 2014. Current data is only requested from Auxiliaries venues. It is suggested that future reporting be required of Atrium Café & Kennedy Museum Café.

Benchmark 19: Increase use of green cleaning products Target and Date: Exclusive use of certified products when available and competitively priced.


Right: Green Cleaning at Home: Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability can provide residential students with “Natural Cleaning” workshops for their residence halls, fraternity/sorority houses or apartments. To schedule a hands-on presentation for your floor, club or organization, complete an online request form a minimum of two weeks in advance of your desired date. See URL below for more information about these workshops.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

The university follows a Green Cleaning procedure for all buildings. Recent tracking of custodial materials and supplies for buildings (including paper, cleaning products, cleaning supplies and equipment such as vacuums and extractors) indicates that 47% of Facilities Management’s purchases are considered “green” by LEED standards. We’ll include a link to OU’s LEED Green Cleaning standards developed for 15 Park Place.

Facilities Management will continue to pursue “Green Cleaning” measures in their general operating procedures. Regular research will be conducted to continue to pursue the products with the most sustainable ratings that can offer the end result required to uphold Ohio University’s standards for sanitation.

All custodial staff are trained a minimum of once per year on the institution’s “green cleaning” and recycling procedures.


47% of custodial materials and supplied purchased by Facilities Management are considered “green” by the standards established by United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Reporting Body: Facilities Management

Are you interested in learning more about Green Cleaning? Resident Assistants, student organizations, or other campus community members can request a “Natural Cleaning” workshop from the Office of Sustainability by submitting an online request form:


Benchmark 20: Increase the percentage of paper products on campus that include post-consumer recycled content Target and Date: 75% of all annual paper products purchased will include at least 40% PCC by June 2012.

Highlights: The Procurement Office has supplied the Office of Sustainability with two years’ worth of paper purchasing data. This allowed for baseline data to be interpreted so that future progress is possible.


Total amount spent on paper products

Amount containing 40%+ PCC

Percentage of PCC









Obstacles: The data supplied here is not exhaustive. The paper products reported here are only those products that were purchased through Office Max, the University’s current supplier. We understand that this data must be interpreted with the understanding that we have an unknown margin of error since institutional employees may purchase paper supplies for office use with their university issued Purchasing Card (credit card), which will not track the level of product specifications that are required for this type of reporting.

What is “PCC”? “PCC” stands for Post Consumer Recycled Content. This means that the recycled content materials used in the products are recovered from previously utilized resources recycled by another consumer. Conversely, “Pre Consumer” recycled content means that the materials used in the product were merely recovered during the actual manufacturing process. “Post Consumer” Recycled Content products are considered to be more environmentally conscious purchases.

Next Steps: Progress Overview: For the sake of this benchmark, the reports supplied to the Office of Sustainability from the Procurement office contained quantities, prices and recycled content details of all purchases made through Office Max for the past two fiscal years. The products included in this report consisted of:

Copier Paper Manila Folders Hanging Folders Toilet Paper Hand Towels Miscellaneous Paper Products

Reporting Body: Procurement Services


Office of Sustainability will continue to work with the Procurement Office to obtain data regarding practices surrounding the purchase of paper products on campus. This will allow us to assess the purchasing practices utilized on campus and determine future efforts surrounding education and outreach to purchasing managers. SOUL will analyze these processes and propose action items that will assist in advancing this benchmark. Since the deadline for achievement of this benchmark was not achieved, this Benchmark will be advanced on SOUL’s priority listing of benchmarks for FY14.

Benchmark 24: Encourage use of sustainable and/or recyclable materials and containers in place of polystyrene by developing environmentally preferable purchasing guidelines Target and Date: Develop and distribute Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guidelines to the campus community by December 2013.


A Special Note About This Benchmark: It should be noted that the language of this Benchmark was amended in FY13. The primary change was that of altering the language from “Styrofoam” to “polystyrene” to be more inclusive of non-biodegradable materials. The overall language of the Benchmark was altered to encourage positive purchasing decisions rather than condemn certain purchasing behaviors. No other efforts made toward this Benchmark have seen significant advancement yet.

Class Project Ideas to Support Progress: Assistance with the advancement of this benchmark is needed by several different classes.

Research and Public Speaking: SOUL would like to enlist the support of a class charged with engaging in a research project. Significant research regarding comprehensive Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guidelines for an institution of this size must be completed. Then, we wish for interpretation of that research to yield recommendations of realistic guidelines to be pitched to the Procurement department at Ohio University.

Marketing: It is important for responsible purchasing guidelines to be effectively marketed to those employees on campus who are responsible for making purchases for the university. A comprehensive and long-term marketing plan needs to be created and implemented. This plan should consider the long-term maintenance of the marketing strategies utilized.

A full listing of the Sustainable Class Project List is available online. All faculty are encouraged to review this list of projects that are in need of support. Faculty interested in assisting with this effort are invited to email


Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL) have identified this as an excellent class project. It has been included in the Common Experience Project for Sustainability (CEPS) sustainable project list for FY14. Faculty interested in assisting with this effort are invited to email

Next Steps: Common Experience Project on Sustainability and Office of Sustainability will continue to encourage participation in class projects that positively impact this, and other, Benchmarks. Office of Sustainability will work to encourage advancement in this area.

Reporting Bodies: Procurement Services, Office of Sustainability, Common Experience Project on Sustainability.


Benchmark 28: Increase purchase of non-food local goods and services and environmentally preferable goods. Target and Date: 0.5% per year between 2011 and 2016.

Highlights: Procurement Services was able to provide Office of Sustainability with comprehensive reports containing data on each purchase made by the university for the past two fiscal years. Due to time constraints, though, that data has not yet been interpreted. Office of Sustainability is in need of student volunteers or interns who can assist with data interpretation. Once that information is available, this report will be updated online.

Obstacles: Office of Sustainability received, from Procurement Services, data regarding the purchase of all goods and services on campus. While receipt of such a large amount of information has offered great insights into the university’s purchasing practices, it should be noted that the interpretation of this data includes a large margin of error for the sake of this benchmark.


Non-Food Local Goods and Services: For purchases made through direct means such as Purchase Orders and Direct Payments, the university is able to track location of the purchase and we will, thus, be able to offer quantitative data on such purchases in the near future. Unfortunately, many purchases for the university are made on credit cards that do not, necessarily, track the location of the purchase and, certainly, not the point of origin for the products purchase. In fact, initial analysis suggests that 62% of the purchases made in the past fiscal year contained no location data. Additional interpretation needs to occur in order to provide reliable baseline data. It will be possible to then determine the current status of purchasing practices surrounding non-food local goods/services and environmentally preferable goods and SOUL will be able to recommend actions necessary for improving those purchasing practices in order to comply with this benchmark. Environmentally Preferable Goods: The “environmentally preferable” attributes of purchases is currently a more difficult piece to track through the existing features of SciQuest (OHIO’s procurement software). Without improved infrastructure from this software, the university is unable to offer a comprehensive report on purchasing practices.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

Non-Food Local Goods and Services: Purchasing information has been provided by OHIO Procurement Services. While initial interpretation has occurred, the complexity of this report has proven that additional staffing and/or student volunteers and interns are needed to be able to appropriately interpret this data.

Office of Sustainability has already received the data for next year’s report. Therefore, the office is uniquely poised to dedicate time to proper interpretation and tracking efforts in the coming year. It will also allow SOUL to spend time learning more about OHIO’s current and past practices surrounding the purchase of non-food local goods and services. Continued support of increased offerings from SciQuest will also occur.

Environmentally Preferable Goods: A formal request was submitted by Procurement Services (with support from the Office of Sustainability) to SciQuest, in collaboration with other institutions throughout the country, to formally request improvements to this tracking feature.

Reporting Body: Procurement Services


Since it was discovered that the data necessary for this report is so in-depth, it is suggested that Office of Sustainability work to obtain this data by January of each academic year so as to have appropriate time to interpret the large quantity of data provided. SOUL will analyze data, once received, and propose action items that will assist in achieving progress toward this benchmark.

Benchmark 29: Increase purchase of environmentally preferable computer products Target and Date: 75% of all annual computer products purchased rated EPEAT Gold or better by FY2012

Highlights: SOUL members held a meeting with Technology Depot to learn more about their EPEAT Gold rated program and to establish support mechanisms to promote their efforts. It should be noted that Technology Depot is careful to only create relationships with companies that offer quality products that are rated EPEAT Gold or higher. Technology Depot’s commitment to sustainable practices should be applauded!

A comprehensive quantitative report is not yet available. Additional staffing is needed in the Office of Sustainability to appropriately interpret data supplied by Procurement. Initial data suggests that 100% of the 4,228,858.60 in Apple and Dell computer sales in FY12 are rated EPEAT Gold or better. Though, during the coming academic year, Office of Sustainability staff will work to verify that each model purchased through university funds does, indeed, qualify for this environmental rating.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

EPEAT, or Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, registers electronic products that meet certain environmental criteria. According to the EPEAT website, these criteria address:

In Fall 2013, SOULmates will provide TechDepot with marketing ideas to encourage increased use of TechDepot and, thus, support their efforts toward environmentally preferable computer products. Additional SOULmates will offer TechDepot a one-page overview of EPEAT Gold to provide to their employees so they may be strong advocates of these efforts.

         

Reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials Material selection Design for end of life Product longevity/life extension Energy conservation End-of-life management Corporate performance Packaging Consumables (unique to Imaging Equipment standard) Indoor Air Quality (unique to Imaging Equipment standard)

TechDepot currently offers 57 EPEAT gold-certified products. FY12 marks the year with the highest reported sales in EPEAT Gold products with 1,255 EPEAT gold products purchased. A final percentage of overall products purchased will become available as further data from FY12 is appropriately interpreted.



Although data can be collected through TechDepot and Bobcat Buy, it is not currently feasible to attain computer purchasing data from additional outside resources. This will continue to be a roadblock in completing the target of this benchmark.

Reporting Bodies: Technology Depot, Procurement Services


Benchmark 31: Develop sustainability guidelines for concessionaires and franchisees Target and Date: Guidelines developed by June 30, 2012.

Please Note: Ohio University is uniquely poised to incorporate sustainability into dining services efforts Auxiliaries currently has no concessionaires or franchisees contracted at its main campus. Progress Overview: Since Ohio University Auxiliaries has no concessionaires and franchisees, this report will, instead, focus on the university’s contract for Pouring Rights, Juice, Vended Snacks and Iced Tea. This contract, awarded to PepsiCo in 2012, includes the following sustainability requirements: Support for Recycling – Plastic containers must meet all FDA requirements for such packaging and must be recyclable as per the unique recycling programs at each OHIO campus. Products with packaging that contain a minimum of 30% Post-Consumer Materials (PCM) are preferred.


Waste Reduction – Packaging of materials must work to decrease the overall waste from operations related to this contract (packaging, beverage containers, reusable/refillable products, etc.). Note: In accordance with the Ohio University Sustainability Plan, the use of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) materials on OHIO Campuses is prohibited. Composting: As Ohio University is a nationwide leader in institutional composting, it is expected that products and packaging sold or used by the supplier will contribute to the overall success of the composting program at the Athens campus. It is expected that significant and unique waste reduction efforts related to this contract will occur at special events such as Move-In, Homecoming and Bobcat Student Orientation and will be hosted and/or supported by the supplier. Energy Conservation – The University will favor proposals that incorporate the collective use of energy conservation initiatives (such as the installation of vending misers and preference toward appliances that automatically transition to standby mode during off-peak hours). The supplier must offer potential energy savings opportunities through proposed equipment changes or updates. It is expected that the supplier will work closely with relevant OHIO staff to appropriately collect and report on data related to energy consumption and conservation. Promotional Support – The University expects support of its sustainability initiatives through the supplier’s marketing on its campuses. Reporting – The University is invested in finding strategies for measuring reduction and recycling efforts as well as their success. Carbon Footprint – Supplier is encouraged to reduce its overall carbon footprint by reducing product travel and vehicle emissions. Social Responsibility – - Suppliers related to this contract are expected to offer all employees fair wages and safe working conditions. –Similarly, suppliers are expected to give employment preference to local residents and/or provide community development programming where appropriate as it relates to this contract. It is the responsibility of the supplier to offer healthy options for its consumers and to appropriately label and market those options. End-Of-Life Practices – Suppliers must have a recycle/reuse/repurpose program in place for all equipment removed or retired from the OHIO campus as it relates to this contract. OHIO’s Office of Sustainability must be provided with written verification of proper removal/retirement practices within 30 days of the equipment being removed from campus.


Reporting Bodies: Procurement Services, OHIO Auxiliaries, Athletics, Office of Sustainability




Benchmark 16: Improve sustainability profile of student, staff and faculty vehicles Target and Date: 60% of all student, faculty and staff vehicles will be classified as LEFE (Low Emission Fuel Efficient) by 2015.

Highlights: A catalogue of potential class projects ha been established and is publicly available online. It is the hope of SOUL that faculty will be able to utilize this catalogue of potential class projects to assist with their efforts to incorporate sustainability into the classroom. The surveying of travel trends at Ohio University is included in that list of potential projects. .



About LEFE:

Currently, the tracking software utilized by Transportation and Parking Services at Ohio University does not require that parking pass holders provide the year of their vehicle upon registration. Unfortunately, without this information, tracking average fuel efficiency of personal vehicles of faculty, staff and students is not possible. Therefore, no baseline data regarding the fuel economy of personal vehicles is currently available.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has identified a long list of vehicles that qualify as Low Emission Fuel Efficient (LEFE).

Next Steps: SOUL will work with Transportation and Parking Services to determine if requiring the tracking of the year of the primary vehicles associated with parking passes would be possible. If so, it is in the best interest of the university to begin establishing baseline data. Since faculty and staff vehicles are not re-issued annually, it will take several years to establish accurate baseline data. It is recommended that, while we wait for baseline data to be gathered, a car-buying marketing program be developed and implemented by an Ohio University Marketing course. It would be ideal if this campaign explained fuel efficiency of vehicles, defined “LEFE” and offered tips for selected the most fuel efficient vehicle possible for their needs. Once an inventory of personal vehicles is created, the Office of Sustainability will purchase annual memberships to ACEEE’s Green Book© to help further define baseline and ongoing data.

Reporting Body: Transportation and Parking Services


Advocates of LEFE typically use the designation to educate the general public of the importance of considering the fuel economy of a vehicle when making a car purchase or choosing to drive instead of walk, bike or take public transit. The Ohio State University, for example, hosts a Buckeye LEFE Parking Program which offers premiere parking spots for the drivers of LEFE-qualified vehicles. By having clearly marked parking spots for these vehicles, the university can more readily educate its campus community members and visitors about the university’s commitment to promoting a reduction in institutional greenhouse gas emissions. LEFE isn’t without its critics, though. For example, electric vehicles are considered “LEFE” since they do not utilize gasoline for fuel. However, the electricity utilized to charge an electric vehicle is, most commonly, generated from coal. The burning of coal is a significant source of emissions generated in the United States. New rules created by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require increased efficiencies for new vehicles by the year 2016.

Benchmark 18: Improve sustainability profile of campus fleet Target and Date: Average fuel economy of the campus fleet will increase by 5% per year beginning in the fall of 2011. All cars and light trucks acquired from outside the university beginning in June 2011 will meet or exceed 2011 federal CAFE standards.

CAFE: Corporate Average Fuel Economy Highlight:


Next Steps:

Transportation and Parking Services does not yet have a comprehensive inventory of the Athens campus fleet. Without this necessary data, it is not possible to determine the baseline fuel economy of institution-owned vehicles. Therefore, this report does not contain quantitative reporting of increases or decreases in fuel economy.

Transportation and Parking Services will work to complete the inventory of the campus fleet. Office of Sustainability will offer volunteer support , resources, and inventory maintenance recommendations since the development and continued maintenance of such an inventory requires a great deal of research, time and effort.

Progress Overview: While baseline fuel economy of university-owned vehicles is not yet possible, Transportation and Parking Services has successfully completed one full year of implementing Policy 47.001, which requires that all newly purchased vehicles meet or exceed federal CAFE standards. When any entity on campus elects to purchase a vehicle for their program or department, that purchase request is filtered through Transportation and Parking Services. In addition to a variety of safety regulations, staff in that office ensure the vehicle meets fuel economy regulations. If the vehicle does not meet or exceed these fuel economy requirements, the vehicle request is denied and the department must find another vehicle that meets these standards.

Transportation and Parking Services will continue to implement Policy 47.001 which will assist in the success of this Benchmark and in the overall reduction of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions reported by the university transit on an annual basis (transit emissions are currently calculated by a national average of fuel economy compared to gasoline consumption).


Transportation and Parking Services is improving the sustainability profile of the campus fleet by only allowing the purchase of vehicles that meet or exceed 2011 federal CAFE standards.

In FY13, two non-CAFE vehicle purchase requests were denied as a result of this process. For the sake of this Benchmark, “campus fleet� encompasses the public transit vehicles (including buses, vans and cars), the vehicles rented for university business and the many vehicles owned by individual programs/departments campus-wide.

Reporting Body: Transportation and Parking Services


Benchmark 27: Decrease use of Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV) Target and Date: 85% of all students and 20% of all faculty and staff will use a non-SOV option as their primary method of transportation by 2015, including but not limited to non-motorized, shared, and alternative fuel options.

Highlights: This Benchmark was identified by SOULmates as an ideal potential class project for FY14.

A full listing of the Sustainable Class Project List is available online.



Currently, no baseline data exists for students, faculty or staff in regards to this Benchmark. It was decided that data collection through online or paper surveys would not yield accurate results and, therefore, physical surveying of drivers entering or leaving parking lots of campus need to be created. This would require that at least one dozen locations be monitored by volunteers for a minimum of 4 hours per day for 5 consecutive days. The Office of Sustainability will require significant assistance from the campus community for such an initiative to be successfully implemented.

All faculty are encouraged to review this list of projects that are in need of support. Faculty interested in assisting with this effort are invited to email

Progress Overview: SOULmates have recommended that GIS, statistics or urban planning classes assist in the planning, implementation, recording and interpretation of this data. By soliciting the help of Ohio University students, we can acquire accurate and professional data to assist in the advancement of this Benchmark. Current infrastructure does allow for faculty, students and staff to find alternatives to driving to campus alone: 

The RideShare website provides a safe place for campus members to post availability or need regarding local and regional transportation.


Transportation and Parking Services offers public transit bus and escort services.


Bike racks and designated bike lanes are readily available throughout the Athens campus for those who wish to commute on bike.

Next Steps: Office of Sustainability and the Common Experience Project on Sustainability will continue to support faculty in their efforts to incorporate sustainability in the classroom. Such support may, naturally, lend itself to successful advancement in this Benchmark. Once data is collected, it should be submitted to Transportation and Parking Services for their review and consideration. Recommendations will be made regarding potential action and marketing that could be taken to educate the campus community about alternatives to Single Occupancy commuting. Office of Sustainability will provide more education to the campus community about existing infrastructure that can reduce SOV on campus.

Reporting Bodies: Transportation and Parking Services, Human Resources, University Planner, University-City Transit Partnership


Benchmark 33: Encourage residency in City of Athens for Athens campus employees Target and Date: 8Informational materials will be provided to all incoming faculty and staff prior to relocation by 2012.

Highlights: SOUL members worked with CEP-S to establish a catalogue of potential class projects, including the development of a marketing plan and corresponding marketing materials encouraging residency in the City of Athens for Athens campus employees..

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:


SOUL will solicit classes to participate in course projects that assist with the promotion of Athens residency.

Office of Sustainability has included relocation information on their public website and will work with Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau to determine possible presence of such materials on the ACCVB website.

Human Resources will regularly provide Office of Sustainability with the names of newly hired employees who will be relocating to the region so the office may send Welcome packets outlining the benefits of living in Athens.


Athens City Planner, Paul Logue, has developed a map (below) containing details of neighborhoods and typical households found in those neighborhoods to better assist relocating employees in their search for appropriate neighborhoods.

Left: The full-sized relocation map and additional information can be viewed at: sustainability/Relocating.cfm

Reporting Bodies: Human Resources, Office of Sustainability




Waste Reduction

Benchmark 5: Reduce Solid Waste Target and Date: 5% per year between 2011 and 2016

Highlights: In FY12, there was a 29.5% reduction in waste going to the landfill. SOUL worked with the Office of Recycling and Refuse to brainstorm a variety of marketing opportunities to assist in the improved marketing of recycling and waste reduction opportunities available at Ohio University.

Waste Reduction

A number of academic and administrative programs and offices across campus are initiating waste-reduction efforts in their areas. Marching 110, for example, chose to supply their members with reusable water bottles and water/Gatorade refilling stations in an effort to reduce the waste generated from disposable cups and bottles (see right photo).

Obstacles: Current tracking processes for recycling offer rough estimates of recycled quantities. As such, the historical data collected has a large margin of error. Tracking waste stream in Athens County is a combination of hard data and best estimates. When reviewing the FY11 waste stream data, it has been determined that the category of Coal Ash was overestimated by over 2,200 tons. Because Coal Ash in FY11 was the single biggest category tracked as recycling, this correction means that both the overall waste stream and the amounts recovered through recycling needed to be recalculated.

Progress Overview: Recycling Manager, Andrew Ladd, worked to correct the miscalculation noted above. After the correction was made, it was determined that, in FY 11, the total waste stream was 7200 tons with 3214 tons going to the landfill, 3724 tons recycled and 251.5 tons composted. This equals a 55.4% recycling rate in FY11. In FY12, the total waste stream was 5527 tons with 2266 tons being landfilled, 2046 tons recycled and 1215 tons composted. Overall , Ohio University yielded a 23.2% reduction in total waste stream between FY11 and FY12, far exceeding the goal established in this benchmark. Perhaps even more significant, the university saw a 29.5% reduction in waste going to the landfill.

Reporting Bodies: Offices of: Recycling and Refuse, Facilities Management, Moving and Surplus, Culinary Services, Environmental Health and Safety


Above: Marching 110 member, Kevin Lin, with the reusable water bottles issued to band members at the beginning of the year in an effort to reduce waste generated by band members from disposable beverage containers.

Next Steps: Ohio University’s Office of Facilities Management will continue the expansion of compost collection to include Baker Center’s post-consumer service ware (currently not collected). Office of Recycling and Refuse will allow select academic buildings to transition to a mixed stream system (not all commodities will need to be source separated in hopes that convenience will aid in increased recycling practices). There will be an increased focus on waste recovery from athletic events. Recycling and Refuse will also work to simplify the sorting system within the Recycling Shop to streamline labor, capture underrepresented categories of recycling and to increase education and outreach.

Benchmark 7: Increase Recycling Rates Target and Date: 80% by weight of all recyclable solid waste by 2016.

Highlights: In FY11, the university achieved a 55.4% recycling rate. In FY12, the university achieved a 59% recycling rate.

Office of Recycling and Refuse has expressed a deep interest in and commitment to advancing education and outreach efforts. In FY13, the Recycling Manager worked closely with student volunteers to develop new outreach programs and opportunities that will be implemented in the coming academic year.

Right: Ohio University is home to the largest invessel composting system at any college or university in the nation. In 2012, the university tripled the size of its composting facility with the installation of at 4-ton per day system.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

The University further increased the accuracy of waste stream reporting and data collection. In In FY12, 3,261 tons were recycled and composted out of a total waste stream of 5,527 tons. Therefore the rate of recycling was 59%, a 4.6% increase from FY11.

Ohio University’s Office of Facilities Management will continue the expansion of compost collection to include Baker Center’s post-consumer service ware (currently not collected).

Construction waste, which is being tracked as its own category independent of other recycling on campus, reported 121.4 tons recovered. Please note that this construction data may be incomplete as not every project as not every project appears to have reported all categories.

Waste Reduction

This yields a 4.6% increase in the institutional recycling rate between the two most recent years.

Office of Recycling and Refuse will allow select academic buildings to transition to a mixed stream system. This means that not all commodities will need to be source separated in hopes that convenience will aid in increased recycling practices. An increased focus on waste recovery from athletic events will also occur through additional programs and education/outreach. Office of Recycling and Refuse will also work to simplify the sorting system within the Recycling Shop to streamline labor, capture under-represented categories of recycling and to increase education and outreach. Finally, the Office of Design and Construction and the Office of Recycling and Refuse will further focus collaborative efforts on writing and enacting construction and renovation recovery standards.

Reporting Bodies: Recycling and Refuse, Design and Construction


Waste Reduction Highlight: In-Vessel Composting at Ohio University Ohio University is home to the largest in-vessel composting facility at any college or university in the nation thanks to a 2-ton per day composting system that was installed in 2009. In 2012, the university tripled the size of its facility by adding a second unit that can accept up to 4 tons of organic materials daily. This increase in composting capacity is significantly contributing to the overall progress of Benchmarks 5 and 7 of the Sustainability Plan.

Waste Reduction 42

Facts about composting at Ohio University:

 Food waste is collected from the Central Foods Facility and all Athens campus Dining Courts/Halls six days per week.  Both pre-consumer food waste (kitchen scraps) and post-consumer food waste (waste generated by diners) is collected.  It should be noted that Ohio University's kitchen preparation process is quite streamlined. Therefore, a significant portion of the weight collected comes from post-consumer waste.  The organic food waste is brought to the compost facility and combined with bulking agents (wood chips from landscape waste are commonly used). It is then processed in the in-vessel systems for approximately 14 days.  The in-vessel systems have 14 stainless steel trays situated on the bottom of the machine. Each day, the organic material moves one tray’s-length closer to the exit of the system.  When organic material reaches the exit of the system, it is swept off the tray and pushed out of the system through a conveyor belt. The image to the right shows what this material looks like upon immediately exiting the system.  After exiting the system, the partially processed material is then moved to “windrows” where they will cure for approximately 90 days.  This product is a nutrient-rich organic material that is used as a soil amendment on the campus’ grounds.

Left: The ARRA grant included the purchase of a Windrow Turner which assists in the aeration of the windrows during the curing process. Bottom Left: Inside the in-vessel system are augers that rotate slowly so as to aerate (add oxygen to) the organic material. This image was taken prior to the installation and commissioning of the first in-vessel unit and offers a rare view of these augers.

Waste Reduction

Below: The elevator and weighing system located to the right in this image place the organic material on the elevated conveyor system which then, mechanically, dumps the material into the in-vessel unit. This process has increased employee safety and comfort.

For more information about the process, and for a video of Ohio University’s composting program, click the image above.


Benchmark 15: Improve identification and proper handling of hazardous waste Target and Date: Implement tracking system of hazardous chemicals by 2013.


A tracking system through Bobcat Buy currently exists and is being implemented. All individuals at the university who purchase hazardous materials are instructed to do so through this tracking system.

Waste Reduction

About the Hazardous Materials Office at Ohio University: Responsibilities include but are not limited to implementation of and consultation for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (Hazardous Waste), Atomic Energy Act (Low Level Radioactive Waste), Ohio Department of Health Underground Storage Tank Regulatory Program, Toxic Substance Control Act (PCBs), Clean Water Act (Storm Water Runoff), Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, Dilution Tank Maintenance Program, Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act, County Health Department Center for Disease Control, lab programs including chemical hygiene, lab safety, biosafety, infectious waste disposal, bloodborne pathogens and hazardous materials in general. Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

Ohio University has a Hazardous Materials Coordinator employed within the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. This individual is responsible for tracking the purchase and disposal of materials as well as training those who handle these materials. Ohio University’s new online procurement process, Bobcat Buy, allows us to more adequately track the purchase of hazardous materials and provide the purchaser with the proper training regarding handling and disposal. This tracking of purchases through Bobcat Buy is considered a marked improvement of the procedures previously implemented at the university.

Environmental Health and Safety will continue to implement and assess the hazardous materials handling policies and adjust procedures as needed to ensure materials are purchased, managed and disposed of in the most sustainable manner possible.

Supplemental information is available online: Ohio University Hazardous Waste website. This site outlines all potential hazardous waste present on a university campus and offers information regarding proper handling: hazmat/index.htm This formal university policy outlines management processes for hazardous waste:

Reporting Body: Environmental Health and Safety


Individuals who have questions about how to dispose of hazardous materials on campus are invited to call Environmental Health and Safety for support: 740-593-1663.

Benchmark 32: Increase food donations to local service organizations Target and Date: Meet with Athens County Health Department, Culinary Services and local service groups to discuss current obstacles and establish baseline goals for improvement by end of Fall 2011.

Highlights: The Ecohouse Community Garden is home to 12 raised beds. All participants within the Ecohouse Community Garden Program must donate a tithe of their harvest.

Obstacles: Within the past few years, the university has transitioned to a streamlined central food production process. This centralized production has significantly reduced the university’s pre-consumer food waste. In fact, if one were to compare the emissions produced from a refrigerated truck (necessary for safe food donation practices) to the emissions generated from wasted food, the donation of food would actually create more emissions than composting that waste. Therefore, at this juncture, the donation of pre-consumer food waste is in direct contradiction with the Climate Action Plan.

Progress Overview: While donation of pre-consumer food waste is currently not a viable option for the university, the value of food donation is still widely recognized at Ohio University. A variety of programs currently exist to encourage food donation: 

Ecohouse Community Garden required that gardeners provide a tithe of their produce to local food pantries, community meals, church programs, children’s programs, etc. A partnership between the university and Community Food Initiatives has been created to offer additional information to Southeast Ohioans regarding the importance of local food and how to offer or accept food donations within the region. Office of Recycling and Refuse and Residential Housing accept unwanted non-perishable food items during move-out each semester. These food items are then donated to local food pantries.

Waste Reduction

Office of Sustainability has entered into a partnership with Community Food Initiatives to offer a wider array to community food access and education. Promotion events for future community meals began in summer 2013 and will extend into FY14.

The university’s pre-consumer waste is minimal compared to post-consumer food waste. Learn more by clicking the video above.

Next Steps: The feasibility study for this benchmark was conducted in FY12. Therefore, there is no current data available regarding possible changes to this information. If additional research regarding the feasibility of this Benchmark is desired, the Office of Sustainability encourages interested students to volunteer research time to further provide emissions data.

Reporting Bodies: Culinary Services, Office of Sustainability


Benchmark 34: Implement notification system for local service organizations regarding availability of surplus items Target and Date: Notification system active within 3 months of Sustainability Plan adoption..

Waste Reduction Above: A screenshot of the Moving and Surplus website. Note the inventory listing options in the left navigation bar. Progress Overview: Moving and surplus has a comprehensive listing of all current inventory offered on their website. The general public is invited to attend auctions for the purchase of items. Inventory lists are available online at

Reporting Body: Moving and Surplus


Fundraising and Endowment

Fundraising & Endowment


Benchmark 10: Integrate sustainability goals and objectives into capital campaign Target and date: Goals will be developed and integrated into the capital campaign by the Fall of 2012

Highlights: University Advancement has expressed an interest in sustainability through inclusion of the topic in their marketing efforts. Such interest may naturally lend itself to future conversations about sustainability inclusion.

Fundraising and Endowment

United Appeal of Athens Country will include sustainability in the 2013 employee giving campaign. Involvement in this program is allowing Office of Sustainability to determine processes and infrastructure that would need to be developed for future programs in partnership with University Advancement


Progress Overview:

Much conversation centered around this Benchmark has occurred in the past fiscal year. The vague language of this Benchmark allowed the depth and breadth of the conversations to be quite expansive. Ultimately, several obstacles were identified as impeding sustainability advocates on campus to present any formal proposals for sustainability integration to leaders within University Advancement. Those obstacles included:

It was suggested, through the conversations noted above, that Ohio University work to propose sustainability-related goals and objectives for campaigns or giving programs sponsored by University Advancement that extend beyond 2015.

The current capital campaign, “The Promise Lives,” is scheduled to conclude mid-2015. Therefore, inclusion in this round would be short-lived; thus, not allowing for significant data to be developed regarding the impact sustainability had on the overall campaign. Without the ability to collect data, a significant concern regarding the efficacy of the benchmark was raised. The language of this benchmark suggests that finances could be directed toward sustainability-related activities. However, infrastructure is not currently in place to allow for such funds to be appropriately managed.

Through work with other benchmarks in this plan, it has been determined that two separate sources of sustainabilityrelated funding are needed to encourage the continued implementation of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan: 

Facilities Funding: The sustainability category of facilities funding would allow for the university to develop a revolving loan fund or LEED assistance fund. These funds could help encourage continued reduction of greenhouse gas emissions produced by institutional facilities.

Academic Funding: This sustainability-related category would allow for University College to further encourage faculty to incorporate sustainability into the classroom and would allow for a pool of money to be used to facilitate sustainability-related research activities of Ohio University faculty and researchers.

Next Steps: It is recommended that the Office of Sustainability, SOUL, University College and the Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee work to establish sustainability-related goals and objectives for raising sustainability funds (as noted in “Progress Overview”) on an ongoing basis that extends beyond the current Capital Campaign. Office of Sustainability will continue to partner with United Appeal of Athens County to encourage sustainability-related language in employee giving programs.


Reporting Bodies: University Advancement

Benchmark 21: Assess endowment investment in sustainable corporations and entities and recommend strategies for increasing investment in these corporations and entities Target and date: Annual assessment beginning in the academic year following sustainability plan adoption.

The OU Foundation has created a student managed sustainability portfolio to pilot the endowment assessment process. This was done to honor one of the Recommended Strategies for this Benchmark in the Sustainability Plan. Such a process allows for a pilot phase of assessment and implementation to occur prior to making larger-scale recommendations for sustainable investing practices with institutional portfolios.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

The Sustainable Investing Advisory Committee (SIAC) is a new organization in FY14 that is supervised by a faculty advisor and supported by a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Sustainability. SIAC will report to the Ohio University Foundation. High-ability and committed students are invited to apply to participate in this prestigious organizations. In partnership with the Student Equity Management Group (SEMG) and the Fixed Income Management Group (SIMG), SIAC will work to develop institutional portfolios relating to Socially Responsible Investing.

SIAC will function as a formal student organization in FY14. Advised by one graduate student and one faculty advisor, this group will perform its duties to the best of its abilities and report to the OU Foundation. After its first full year of implementation, this group will assess its efficacy and determine next steps. It is the long-term goal of this group to discover best practices regarding sustainable investing so that long-term institutional recommendations may be made.

SIAC will engage in several core activities: 

Define "sustainable investing" for the university. This definition is to encompass: sustainability; corporate social responsibility (CSR) ;environment, social and governance (ESG) responsibility; and, socially responsible investing (SRI).

Specify an investment universe consistent with SRI/sustainability for use by SEMG and FIMG. The universe should generally be inclusive, identifying those companies and securities that are leaders in SRI.

SIAC will accept other responsibilities or execute projects at the request of the OU Vice President for Finance and Administration, OU Foundation, or the SEMG and FIMG.

SIAC will conduct regular training and research to make sure that the group provides advice to SEMG, FIMG, and the OU Foundation that represents professional best practices.

SIAC will be supervised by a faculty sponsor and, for the first year at least, be supported by a graduate assistant selected and advised by the OU Director of Sustainability.

In SIAC's first year of implementation, the Office of Sustainability will work to provide the supplies and meeting space necessary for group members to complete their duties.

Any student interested in applying to join the Sustainable Investing Advisory Committee, is invited to email

Fundraising and Endowment


Participation in this group will require a substantial level of commitment since the responsibilities trusted to this group are significant. This is an exciting and unique opportunity that will greatly benefit those students interested in finance, business and sustainability.

Reporting Bodies: OU Foundation, Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee




Buildings and Energy Infrastructure

Benchmark 2: Reduce campus and building energy intensity Target and date: Reduce building energy intensity 20% below 2004 levels by 2014 and 40% below 2004 levels by 2030. Avoid 24 Megawatt (MW) peak on the Athens campus. Lower peak to 23 MW by 2016.


Buildings and Energy Infrastructure

Athens campus reduced its energy intensity by 9.7% from 2004 levels.

Peak energy intensity was 21.6 MW in FY13

Residential Housing is currently in the design and planning phase of a Housing Development Plan. That plan has publicly embraced the need to commit to sustainable design features that will reduce building energy intensity.

Ohio University has entered into an aggressive Energy Performance Contract that is expected to assist with future reductions in campus and building energy intensity.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

Energy intensity was 165,000 BTU/GSF in FY12, representing a 9.7% decrease from 2004 levels at 181,000 BTU/GSF.

Office of Sustainability will continue to work with Facilities Management to provide support in accomplishing these goals through efforts such as energy conservation programming and outreach.

Peak energy intensity was 21.6 MW, indicating that the Athens campus successfully avoided a 24 MW peak and reached a peak below 23 MW before 2016.

Reporting Bodies: Facilities Management, Office for Design and Construction, Residential Housing


Benchmark 3: Increase renewable energy generation and sourcing Target and date: 20% of all campus energy use by 2020.


Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

In FY13, with the assistance of the university’s two new PV systems, 473.43 MMBtu of electricity was generated through renewable energy sources. This represents .0003% of total energy utilized by the university during the past year. Additionally, it should be noted that the existing campus electric energy portfolio fuel mix has renewables at 3% (1% wind & 2% hydro

Office of Sustainability will maintain a positive working relationship with Facilities Management and serve in a support role in their acquisition of additional renewable energy options.

Although renewable energy generation is increasing across campus, there is still progress to be made. In order for the university to meet the target and date outlined in this benchmark, more stakeholders are needed to provide additional resources. Based on current campus energy demands, achieving 20% of all campus energy will require a greater amount of funding than is presently available.

In FY14, the Office of Energy Management will be investigating options for increased investments in alternative fuel sources in the university’s energy portfolio. The source for this power would come from Ohio wind farms.

Buildings and Energy Infrastructure

473.43 MMBtu of electricity was generated from renewable energy sources in FY13.

Office of Sustainability will encourage clients of new construction or renovation projects that they consider including renewable energy sources in their plans. Design and Construction will be encouraged to reach out to Office of Sustainability each time a new project is accepted on the Athens campus. By making OoS aware of new projects, potential for collaborations on renewable energy and grant acquisitions are more likely.

Reporting Body: Facilities Management


Benchmark 4: LEED certify new buildings and major renovations on all campuses Target and date: LEED Silver minimum certification for all building and renovation projects budgeted at or above $2 million, effective FY2011. Equivalent LEED-based approach for projects budgeted under $2 million, effective FY 2012.


Buildings and Energy Infrastructure

Currently, it is within the university’s standard operating procedures for all projects budgeted for $2 million or above to meet or exceed LEED Silver standards.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

The current list of university projects are slated for LEED Silver application: Chillicothe Project 14,000 square feet Scripps Phase 1 80,800 square feet Nelson total projects 151,058 square feet 15 Park Place 12,710 square feet Bush Hall 35,000 square feet

Design and Construction will continue to ensure compliance with LEED Silver standards in the design and construction of university projects, requesting assistance from Office of Sustainability when necessary.

Additionally, Residential Housing has been working tirelessly to incorporate sustainability into future plans for the Housing Development Plan. In fact, they have made commitments to build to LEED Silver building standards and, in turn, seek LEED certification.

Below: The Scripps renovation project is an 80,800 square foot project that is striving for LEED Silver.

Reporting Bodies: Facilities Management, Office of Design and Construction , Residential Housing


Benchmark 12: Evaluate LEED EBOM of existing facilities Target and date: Checklist evaluation of at least one existing facility over 15,000 gsf by October 1, 2011.

A LEED EBOM evaluation was conducted by Office of Sustainability students in FY 12, thus completing the minimum requirements of this Benchmark.

In FY13, A LEED evaluation was conducted of Chubb Hall by a student, Richard Wilson, in his efforts toward achieving the Graduate Sustainability Certificate. This assessment offered a hypothetical approach to potential future renovations of the building.

While the student utilized the 2009 LEED New Construction and Major Renovations guidelines, this white paper offers interesting insights into the student perspective of what could be accomplished by the university in regards to LEED assessments of existing buildings and is, therefore, included in this Benchmark’s report.

Progress Overview: The full text of the FY13 evaluation of Chubb Hall, conducted by student Richard Wilson, is available online.

Next Steps: This benchmark has, technically, been completed. It will be removed from implementation priorities in an effort to offer more attention to other Benchmarks that have not progressed as quickly.

Buildings and Energy Infrastructure


Though, Office of Sustainability will remain interested in future LEED EBOM evaluations of university-owned buildings should class projects continue to find interest and value in this exercise. This Benchmark will be added to the project listing document offered to faculty participating in the Common Experience Project on Sustainability (see Benchmark 8 for more information about this project listing).

Reporting Body: Facilities Management


Benchmark 25: Sub-meter campus facilities Target and date: 2014: Building level meters for electricity and water for 50% of facilities over 15,000 gsf 2021: Building level meters for electricity and water for 100% of facilities over 15,000 gsf

Progress Overview:

Buildings and Energy Infrastructure

While not broken down by building, electricity data for the entire Athens campus is currently available in real-time for the public through an online energy dashboard. Currently, it is estimated that 75% of buildings are sub-metered for both electricity and water on the Athens campus. Submeters for each building on campus is cost prohibitive. As the university transitions to a Responsibility Centered Management system, new avenues for encouraging building occupants may present themselves. Additional sub-meter purchases were made in FY13 through the Energy Performance Contract. A report on the installation and performance of these tools will be available in next year’s Sustainability Report

How does sub-metering work and what does this have to do with sustainability? Each building on campus utilizes a variety of utilities such as water, steam, gas and electricity. In some areas, usage for utilities is aggregated among a number of buildings. This Benchmark seeks to provide each individual building with meters that can read utility usage of that specific building. This is desired because it allows campus leaders and building inhabitants to better gauge their own utility use habits. This would provide the university with a more detailed understanding of efficiencies, inefficiencies and lifestyles associated with specific areas of campus. Such information allows for more specific outreach to occur in an effort to promote positive lifestyle changes and building upgrades. Sub-meters can be found on most buildings, typically located one or two feet off the ground on the exterior of the building. Depending on the age and purpose of a meter, the utility usage will be represented in a digital or analog format that allows the utility company or resident to easily track resource usage in real-time. Left: The solar inverters at the Ohio University Compost Facility on Dairy Lane. These solar PV meters clearly explain energy generated by the panels.

Next Steps: Work with the Office of Design and Construction to ensure that submeters are included in the design standards for future buildings on Ohio University’s campus. Office of Sustainability will work with SOUL to identify potential opportunities for grant funds that could assist with costly sub-metering projects. As the university transitions into a Responsibility Centered Management structure, it is recommended that potential opportunities for incorporating sub-meter installation incentives into communications with each administrative and academic unit on campus. The Director of Energy Management will alert Office of Sustainability if technologies and infrastructure opportunities change in regards to this topic, allowing for growth in this area. Additionally, a report will be supplied regarding the efficacy of the newly installed meters referenced in Progress Overview.

Reporting Bodies: Facilities Management, Office of Design and Construction


Climate Commitment

Climate Commitment


Benchmark 1: Reduce institutional greenhouse gas emissions Target and date: By 2030: 25% below 1990 levels. By 2050: 80% below 1990 levels. By 2075: carbon neutrality

Highlights: FY12: 2% reduction in GHG emissions compared to FY11.

Climate Commitment

Facilities engaged in a natural gas pilot program to project potential cost and emissions savings by switching on-site power from coal to natural gas.

The OHIO Climate Action Plan was formally adopted in November 2012

Pictured: The Ohio University Coal Storage Shed is subject to become obsolete within the next three years as the university woks to transition off coal as its primary on-site fuel source.

Progress Overview:

Next Steps:

On November 28, 2012, the Climate Action Plan was formally adopted by Ohio University. For more information on carbon emissions data, please see the Climate Action Plan Report, which begins on the next page. Reported greenhouse gas emissions were reduced campus-wide by 2% in FY12 compared to FY11 data. Net emissions produced by the university have been on the decline since FY10.

Continue to implement the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan goals across campus.

The Feasibility Study conducted in FY12 for the replacement of the use of coal at the Lausche power plant was followed by a 5-month natural gas pilot phase in FY13. This trial run yielded results that suggest the university would lower emissions and increase energy efficiency by transitioning from coal to natural gas. Natural gas is considered the most energy efficient option and the most flexible available in the current market. On-site carbon emissions will drop significantly once the institution transitions off coal. Additionally, it is suggested that the boilers used for the burning of natural gas can more easily convert to other energy sources in the case of new technologies. The design phase for this transitional project is scheduled to begin in FY14. The university will continue to explore renewable energy options. Though, at this time, technologies and campus energy demand restrict the institution from converting entirely to renewable sources.

Accept ongoing reports from Facilities Management regarding the progress made in the transition off coal as a primary fuel source.

A note about this data: Because of original benchmarks and commitments regarding the reporting of emissions data, the Office of Sustainability will continue to report emissions data from 1990 levels, as indicated in the target and date of this benchmark. However, it is recommended that the reader of this report recognize that 2005 is, realistically, a more accurate baseline year. This is the case because 2005 was the first year that GHG emissions data reporting occurred in the current year. Since data from 1990 through 2004 was retroactively collected in 2005, a greater likelihood of inaccuracies is possible. Therefore, it is the opinion of the preparers of this report that it is more accurate for us to publicly evaluate changes in energy use since 2005.

Reporting Bodies: Culinary Services, Office of Parking and Transportation Services,


Facilities Management, Procurement, Provost, Residential Housing, Office of Sustainability

Energy Use Athens Campus 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,600,000 1,600,000 Scope 2 T&D Losses

Total Energy Use (MMBtu)

Scope 2 T&D Losses Paper Scope 2 T&D Losses

1,200,000 1,200,000

Paper 2 T&D Losses Scope

1,000,000 1,000,000

Wastewater Paper 2 T&D Losses Scope Wastewater Paper

800,000 800,000

Solid Waste Wastewater Paper Solid Waste Wastewater

600,000 600,000

Study Abroad Air Travel Solid Waste Wastewater StudyWaste Abroad Air Travel Solid

400,000 400,000

Directly Financed Outsourced Travel StudyWaste Abroad Air Travel Solid Directly Financed Outsourced Travel Study Abroad Air Travel

200,000 200,000 Scope 2 T&D Losses Scope 2 T&D Losses


Paper Scope 2 T&D2003 Losses 2003

2006 2006

Paper 2 T&D Losses Scope

Wastewater Scope Paper 2 T&D Losses

Commuting Directly Financed Outsourced Travel Study Abroad Air Travel Commuting Directly Financed Outsourced Travel

Year 2012 2009 2012 2009 Purchased Steam / Chilled Water Commuting Directly Financed Outsourced Travel Fiscal Year Purchased Steam / Chilled Water Commuting

Wastewater Paper Scope 2 T&D Losses Solid Waste Paper Wastewater

Purchased Purchased Electricity Steam / Chilled Water Commuting Purchased Steam Electricity Purchased / Chilled Water

Solid Wastewater PaperWaste Study Abroad Air Travel Wastewater Solid Waste

Direct Transportation Purchased Electricity Purchased Steam / Chilled Water Direct Transportation Purchased Electricity

Study Abroad Air Travel Solid Waste Wastewater 2015Financed Outsourced 2018 Directly Travel Solid StudyWaste Abroad Air Travel

On-Campus Stationary Direct Transportation Purchased Electricity On-Campus Stationary Direct Transportation



On-Campus Stationary

Climate Commitment

Total Energy Use (MMBtU)

1,400,000 1,400,000



Climate Action Plan Report Many items within the Climate Action Plan have direct relationships with the Sustainability Plan. Therefore, these reports will have some overlap. For the sake of this first year of reporting of the Climate Action Plan, the Office of Sustainability has chosen to refer readers of this document to associated Benchmark (BM) Reports contained on the preceding pages. In the case that a report has already been addressed by a BM, that BM is noted in parentheses. In the case that no other report exists, an overview of status is supplied immediately next to the goal. For the sake of brevity, listed here are only the goals that must be achieved in the foreseeable future. Despite that, Facilities Management and Sustainable Ohio University Leaders continue to address the longer-term goals noted in the Climate Action Plan.

Energy and Operations: 2014: Reduce building energy intensity by 20% below 2012* levels (BM2) Land and Resource Management: 2013 (through 2075): Record 0 net emissions from fossil fuel extraction on OU property. Report: OHIO currently has no extraction operations on its campuses. Therefore, the university can currently report 0 net emissions from fossil fuel extraction. The Office of Sustainability remains to be included on institutional discussions of any developments in this area and will continue to honor this goal within the Climate Action Plan.

Climate Action Plan Report Waste Reduction and Recycling: 2016: Consume 5% less per person, per year (BM 5) 2016: Increase recycling rates 80% by weight of all recyclable solid waste (BM 7) Transportation: 2016: Encourage use of “LEFE� vehicles on campus: 60% of all student, faculty, and staff vehicles registered with a parking pass will be classified as LEFE.(BM 16) Education and Outreach: (BM 8) 2015: Establish and implement assessment of baseline awareness and knowledge of carbon neutrality issues for the university community as a whole 2015: Establish and implement assessment of baseline awareness and knowledge of carbon neutrality issues for incoming students. This assessment is to be repeated annually 2015 and ongoing: Expand and implement new university-wide programming and curriculum efforts aimed at increasing greenhouse gas emissions awareness Construction and Design: Ultimate goal of 0 net emissions from Construction and Design practices. Report: OHIO currently does not track the emissions associated with construction projects. No known tracking mechanisms currently exist for such an effort. It is suggested that the development of a convenient tracking mechanism be associated with a university-sponsored class project. Behavior Change and Implementation Management: 2013: Develop SOUL. Complete-See Executive Summary.

Acknowledgements The success of the Ohio University Annual Sustainability Report is greatly dependent on the leadership and vision of all faculty, staff and students on all Ohio University campuses. A great deal of our efforts are augmented and complemented by various leaders and invested parties from surrounding communities. A special thanks is extended to those entities mentioned as a “Reporting Body� for one or more Benchmarks in this plan. In particular, the following assisted in the acquisition of departmental and partnership data: Bridget Allman, Transportation and Parking Karen Augenstein, Institutional Research Roger Bail, City of Athens Patti Barnes, Auxiliaries Scott Blower, Facilities Management Shawna Bolin, Space Management Bryan Branham, Aviation John Brant, Grounds Maintenance Dean Bruckner, Engineering Chad Burkett, Procurement Services Mike Gebeke, Facilities Management Stephen Golding, VP Finance and Administration Andrew Ladd, Recycling and Refuse Paul Logue, City of Athens Diane Lucas, Budget Planning and Analysis

Steve Mack, Facilities Management Serena McCollum, Institutional Research Ian McPherson, Procurement Services Laura Nowicki, Procurement Services Marty Paulins, Transportation and Parking Dan Pittman, Auxiliaries Erin Robb, Auxiliaries Steve Schel, Evans, Mechwart, Hambleton & Tilton, Inc. Richard Shultz, Design and Construction Vicki Smith, Airport Operations Andy Stone, City of Athens Tim Strissel, Energy Management Henry Woods, Recycling and Refuse Harry Wyatt, AVP Facilities

Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee The Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee serves as the monitoring agent to the Sustainability Plan. Stephen Scanlan, Sociology and Anthropology (EECC Chair) Annie Laurie Cadmus, Office of Sustainability Teri Combs, Human Resources Ana Rosado Feger, Business Cliff Hamilton, Environmental Health and Safety Paul Logue, Community Member Scott Miller, Energy Management Jill Rosser, English Hogan Sherrow, Sociology and Anthropology Alex Slaymaker, Student Henry Woods, Facilities

The Office of Sustainability Office of Sustainability staff collect, interpret and report annually on the Sustainability Plan. John Benson, SOUL Administration Intern Annie Laurie Cadmus, Director of Sustainability Liz Emley, Tours and Presentation Coordinator Megan Graver, Graduate Assistant for Reporting and Outreach Nick Kroncke, Alternative Transportation Intern Katie Lasco, SOUL Implementation and Professional Development Coordinator Markie Miller, Ecohouse Garden Manager Pronoy Rai, Graduate Assistant for Education and Research Jaymie Tighe, Ecohouse and Special Programs Coordinator Austin Stahl, Waste Reduction Intern

Sustainable Ohio University Leaders Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL) are the implementation arm of the Sustainability Plan. Karen Augenstein, Staff Member John Benson, Undergraduate Student Member Annie Laurie Cadmus, Staff Member Megan Foss, Undergraduate Student Member Elaine Goetz, Graduate Student Member Megan Graver, Graduate Student Member Marianne Jacobs, Undergraduate Student Member Matt Kovarik, Undergraduate Student Member Andrew Ladd, Staff Member Katie Lasco, SOUL Coordinator and Undergraduate Student Member Rebecca Mathews, Undergraduate Student Member Alex Slaymaker, Undergraduate Student Member Austin Stahl, Undergraduate Student Member Catherine Weisbarth, Undergraduate Student Member

For additional information about the Sustainability Plan, the planning process, and for a PDF of the original June 2011 version, please visit:

FY13 Sustainability & Climate Action Report  
FY13 Sustainability & Climate Action Report  

Ohio University's FY13 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Report.