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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

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Sustainability Plan forum

More than 80 students, staff, faculty and community members crowded into Ridges Building 21 on Monday for the first public presentation of the Ohio University Sustainability Plan.

Photographer: Kelly Krivicich

Sustainability Plan forum, McDavis

In his opening remarks, President Roderick J. McDavis challenged attendees to recommend beginning steps to move the plan forward within the constraints of the University's resources.

Photographer: Kelly Krivicich

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Sustainability Plan unveiled


More than 80 students, staff, faculty and community members crowded into Ridges Building 21 on Monday for the first public presentation of the Ohio University Sustainability Plan.

Prepared by the President's Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning (PACSP), the plan combines the goals of Vision Ohio, the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment and House Bill 251 in pursuit of a more sustainable future for Ohio University.

The public presentation was the final step in a vetting process that included visits with all of OHIO's senates, its Board of Trustees and key student advocacy groups. Following Monday's presentation, the council will seek plan adoption by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis.

"Whatever we can do to add to the sustainability of our community, our region, we're committed to do that," McDavis said in his opening remarks.

McDavis then challenged attendees to recommend beginning steps to move the plan forward within the constraints of the University's resources.

With its goals of citizenship, stewardship and justice, the proposed Sustainability Plan includes 18 objectives, 35 benchmarks, about 100 strategies in the areas of:

•    Transportation
•    Procurement
•    Energy infrastructure
•    Building and grounds
•    Academics and research
•    Fundraising and endowment
•    Dining
•    Low and no cost energy conservation

The benchmarks identified as having the highest sustainability impact include reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all campuses, reducing campus and building energy intensity and increasing renewable energy generation and sourcing.
Following a brief overview by council co-chair Michele Morrone, the crowd broke into small groups to share feedback and discuss plan implementation.

"I see the overarching theme to be a consciousness," senior wildlife biology major Joshua Philipps told his group. "With an increasing sense of consciousness, justice and stewardship are really good goals to have. It would keep money circulating in Southeast Ohio and raise awareness among the student body of what sustainability is capable of doing."

To view a draft of the Ohio University Sustainability Plan, click here.