11:45 AM

The Ohio State University earns gold status in sustainability rating system

Ohio State among top universities, highlighting commitment to sustainability

The Ohio State University Columbus campus has achieved a gold rating within the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

Ohio State’s 2019 gold rating is good for three years and places the university among leading national and international colleges and universities, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which administers STARS.

“Sustainability is a major focus at Ohio State and this honor recognizes the significant progress we continue to make as a university,” said Jay Kasey, senior vice president of administration and planning.

The university received high marks in the academic and water management categories thanks to sustainability-focused research and a focus to integrate environmental, social and economic goals into its operational processes (see rankings). The university also earned points in nine operations categories including energy, buildings, transportation and waste diversion.

“Ohio State recognizes the importance of fostering an evolving culture of sustainability through collaborative teaching, pioneering research, comprehensive outreach and innovative operations, practices and policies,” said Kate Bartter, executive director of the university’s Sustainability Institute.

The honor aligns with Ohio State’s overarching sustainability goals developed by faculty, staff and students and designed to enhance and expand policies, operations and practices.

Ohio State’s Columbus campus earned a STARS gold rating in 2016 and a silver rating in 2013.

Recent university sustainability accomplishments and continuing efforts include:

  • For the seventh straight year, Ohio Stadium ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten Conference for GameDay waste diversion rate.
  • Ohio State earned the No. 1 ranking in the 2019 RecycleMania competition for GameDay Basketball waste diversion rate (99.4% on Feb. 26 vs. Iowa).
  • The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center won the 2019 John Chapman Award for Environmental Leadership from the Ohio Hospital Association.
  • The Columbus and Wooster campuses earned 2019 Tree Campus USA certification from the National Arbor Day Foundation for their commitment to effective urban forest management.
  • In July 2017, Ohio State entered into a 50-year partnership to improve the university’s energy management and sustainability by transferring management of the systems that heat, cool and power the Columbus campus to ENGIE Services on behalf of Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP). As part of the agreement, OSEP must meet or exceed a 25% improvement in energy efficiency by July 1, 2028.
  • Ohio State opened its own Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station in 2017 and will soon have a total of 22 CNG buses operating on campus.

For more information about AASHE or STARS, visit https://stars.aashe.org.