06:25 AM

The Ohio State University earns Gold status in sustainability rating system

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University achieved a Gold rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

Ohio State’s 2016 Gold rating places the university among the top tier of national and international colleges and universities, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

“This rating reinforces Ohio State’s efforts toward becoming a world leader in developing durable solutions to the pressing challenges of sustainability,” said Jay Kasey, senior vice president of Ohio State’s Office of Administration and Planning.

The university received high marks by achieving a perfect score in campus engagement and sustainability planning and governance, as well as for its innovation efforts.

This aligns with Ohio State’s continued efforts to advance sustainability across campus and throughout the community, including strategic sustainability goals developed by faculty, staff and students that are designed to enhance and expand policies, operations and practices.

“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, director of Ohio State’s Office of Energy and Environment.

STARS is a framework developed to measure sustainability performance in academics, planning and administration, outreach and engagement, innovation and operations. Today, more than 760 national and international institutionsuse the STARS reporting tool, and more than 275 currently have a STARS rating.

In 2012, Ohio State elected to participate in the STARS program for the first time, earning a Silver rating for the Columbus campus. Ohio State’s regional campuses followed suit by achieving Silver ratings in 2013.

Recent university sustainability accomplishments and continuing efforts include:

  • Individual Conference Champion of the 2015-16 College & University Green Power Challenge, as recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for using more than 123 million kilowatt-hours of green power (20 percent of the university’s annual electricity usage).
  • Big Ten Conference Diversion Rate Champion in the Game Day Recycling Challenge for the fourth year in a row; Ohio Stadium had a 96.35 percent waste diversion rate average for the 2015 season.
  • Three Discovery Theme proposals that advance sustainability research and innovation.
  • The SUSTAINS Learning Community, which provides students with opportunities to learn about best practices for sustainable living through discussion, service and hands-on learning.
  • Partnerships with sustainability focused entities across central Ohio, including the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, COSI, the Mayor’s Green Team and the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

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