Ohio State Sustainability Goals Project

University Sustainability Goals ProjectOhio State is recognized as a world leader in developing durable solutions to the pressing challenges of sustainability and in evolving a culture of sustainability through collaborative teaching, pioneering research, comprehensive outreach, and innovative operations, practices, and policies. During 2015, the university developed strategic sustainability goals to support Ohio State's core of teaching and learning, research and innovation, outreach and engagement, and resource stewardship.

Sustainability Goals 2017.pdf



Project Background

In March 2015, Provost Joseph E. Steinmetz charged the President and Provost’s Council on Sustainability to develop strategic sustainability goals to move Ohio State towards becoming a global model of sustainable operations and practices.

Between March and August, work groups made up of PPCS members as well as a diverse group of faculty, students and staff members, and with university community input, worked together to recommend sustainability goals in the four university overarching core goals:

  • teaching and learning
  • research and innovation
  • outreach and engagement
  • resource stewardship

The proposed Sustainability Goals were submitted to Provost Steinmetz in September, and were presented to various leadership and academic committees across campus in October. In November, the goals were accepted by the Provost, establishing a concrete set of goals that the university will use going forward as it develops strategies to tackle our campus sustainability challenges.

Sustainability Goals Report FINAL REPORT.pdf


University Climate Pledge

In anticipation of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015, the White House asked colleges and universities from across the nation to submit a White House Climate Pledge.

The Ohio State University is committed to developing durable solutions to the pressing challenges of sustainability and in evolving a culture of sustainability through collaborative teaching, pioneering research, comprehensive outreach, and innovative operations, practices, and policies. Our commitment to sustainability features many goals, including:

1. Deliver a Curriculum that provides Ohio State students at all stages of instruction with opportunities to understand sustainability holistically.

2. Reward Sustainability Scholarship by providing incentives for students, faculty and staff to makes discoveries and stimulate creative efforts that promote and achieve sustainability.

3. Implement specific, “world-leading" university-wide operational goals to reduce resource consumption, neutralize carbon emissions, and minimize waste, including:

  • Achieve carbon neutrality by 2050
  • Reduce total campus building energy consumption by 25% by 2025
  • Reduce potable water consumption by 5% per capita every five years, resetting baseline every five years
  • Reduce carbon footprint of university fleet by 25% by 2025
  • Achieve zero waste by 2025 by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills
  • Increase production and purchase of locally and sustainably sourced food to 40% by 2025