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Report Card 2010

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Ohio State University–Columbus
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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Ohio State University–Columbus

School details:

Endowment: $2,100 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Enrollment: 50,431

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.

Overall grade  
The President's Council on Sustainability implemented a campus-wide policy to use a minimum of 30 percent recycled content paper and established sustainability coordinators in each residence hall. The council has also addressed issues surrounding transportation and renewable energy. Ohio State University employs eight full-time staff members who work primarily on campus sustainability initiatives.
In accordance with Ohio House Bill 251, the university plans to reduce its energy consumption to 20 percent below 2004 levels by 2014. Identification and implementation of energy conservation measures, such as repairs to condensate return systems, piping insulation, and temperature setbacks, are key components of the university's energy audit program. The Scarlet Gray and Green campaign advocates for behavioral change with regard to energy use through signage and pledges.
Dining services spends $3.6 million on local produce, and sources specialty greens from the student farm. A punch-card program rewards students with free meals for every few times they bring a reusable bag. Trayless dining in the traditional cafeteria locations has reduced food waste and water and chemical use by 10 to 15 percent in those locations.
The university has established that all new construction and major renovation projects will be built to LEED Silver standards and must undergo life cycle cost analysis. In addition, new construction is required to include a 5 percent adjustment to the project budget to incorporate energy efficiency features. At least 30 percent of waste resulting from demotion projects must be reused or recycled.
A student sustainability chair for each residence hall raises awareness through initiatives such as eco-bulletin boards and waste and energy audits. Students for a Sustainable Campus led a monthly discussion series called Green Beans: Ecology & Coffee, which included input from community experts. On-campus sustainability is incorporated into new-student orientation. Additionally, 15 sustainability-related clubs are active at Ohio State.
On-campus bus service is provided free of charge, and students receive bus passes for the local transit services. The university fleet includes hybrid and electric vehicles, and all diesel vehicles use B20 biodiesel fuel. Car-sharing, bike-sharing, and vanpooling options are in place.
The university makes a list of all endowment holdings and a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares, available to the public by request, as per open record law.
The university aims to optimize investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development funds.
The university provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine its proxy votes for corporate governance matters and specific guidelines for environmental and social resolutions.
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