Ohio University Releases Sustainability Progress Report

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Ohio University released its first sustainability report this month and while work is on-going many areas, "significant progress" has been made in others.

According to the report, the university has made significant progress in four areas. 

Undergraduate students will now be able to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies.

Beginning in 2013, the Honors Tutorial College (HTC) will provide undergraduate students the opportunity to major in Environmental Studies, which was the goal of providing undergraduate students with a sustainability-focused major, degree program or equivalent.

Through this new initiative students will now have the opportunity to explore the vast nature of environmental problems and learn of new ways to plan for a sustainable future.

Another area of improvement from this year's report came from the Office of Sustainability's outreach and reporting on sustainability issues.

Routes, an online publication from the Office of Sustainability, was created to express information about initiatives and progress on the Sustainability Plan throughout the academic year.

Though the establishment of the tracking and assessment process is still being drafted, the Office of Sustainability is seeking feedback on how to improve the data and communication process.

The university has also reports making significant progress in prohibiting the installation of permanent irrigation systems that rely on potable water.

Writing and incorporating formal standards into Design and Construction procedures, as well as converting all existing irrigation systems to non-potable water, are the next steps for the university to accomplish this goal.

The original goal was to have a complete ban by June of 2011.

The report says progress was also significantly made in buildings and energy infrastructure.

A LEED-EBOM evaluation, a measurement of a facility's environmental impact, has begun in Cutler Hall and the results, according to the report, will be available in 2013.

The next step for this initiative, if resources are available, is to continue evaluations on other buildings. 

The report evaluates the progress of 35 benchmarks from the Office of Sustainability, and is available online