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Report Card 2011

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Ohio State University–Columbus
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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Ohio State University–Columbus

School details:

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Endowment: $1,908 million as of March 31, 2010

Location: Columbus, Ohio


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
B +
Ohio State's One Ohio State Framework Plan is based on smart growth principles, encouraging transportation alternatives and the reuse of existing resources. The university is formalizing a climate action plan and sustainability plan in the fall of 2010. The President's Council on Sustainability, the Council on the Physical Environment, and the University Energy Committee work to integrate sustainability into all realms of campus life. OSU also employs eight full-time staff members to work on campus sustainability initiatives.
The university has completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and purchases renewable energy credits as well as energy from renewable sources. Energy conservation measures include an energy audit program and the installation of steam trap systems, economizers, and energy-efficient lighting.
Ohio State purchases produce from local processors and growers as well as the campus garden. The university also serves seafood that meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines. Preconsumer food scraps are composted at all meals, and the university recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials. In 2009, a move-out source reduction initiative diverted 14.35 tons of waste from traditional disposal.
All new major construction and renovation projects must meet LEED Silver standards. The university's newly built student center is LEED Silver certified and is one of two LEED-certified buildings on campus. In compliance with Ohio House Bill 251, the university aims to reduce on- and off-campus building energy consumption by at least 20 percent from 2004 levels by 2014. Water conservation technologies have been installed on campus, including low-flow faucets and waterless urinals.
There are 18 active sustainability-related student organizations at Ohio State. The Scarlet, Gray & Green Video Challenge and the USO-Ohio State Conservation Challenge encourage students to live sustainably and reduce energy use, and the university's sustainability office employs six paid student interns.
On-campus bus service is provided free of charge, and students receive a 95 percent discount on bus passes for local transit services. The campus fleet includes electric vehicles, hybrids, and vehicles that use B20 biofuel. Car-sharing, bike-sharing, and vanpooling options are available to the campus community.
The university makes a list of asset allocation, external managers, and cash holdings, as well as a list of votes cast on proxy resolutions, available to the public at the investment office per open records law.
The university aims to optimize investment returns and is currently invested in renewable energy funds and community development loan funds.
The university provides its investment managers with general and specific guidelines that determine its proxy votes.
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