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Sustainability Council seeks feedback from regional campuses

The first draft of the Ohio University Climate Action Plan is now open for public comment.

The Presidential Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning (PACSP) has been working alongside more than 60 students, faculty, staff and community members for the past few months in an effort to develop the first draft of the Ohio University Climate Action Plan (CAP).

“Seven Working Groups have been working collaboratively since January to integrate administrative, academic and other functional units across all of Ohio University’s campuses in an effort to develop strategies for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions,” explained Annie Laurie Cadmus, director of sustainability. 

Working Groups included: Behavior Change and Implementation Management; Education and Outreach; Energy and Operations; Construction and Design; Land and Resource Management; Transportation; and, Waste Reduction and Recycling.

PACSP members admit that the timeline for creating this plan was quite aggressive, especially in comparison to the University’s Sustainability Plan which was approved last summer. Such a timeline as possible, they said, thanks to the exceptional foundation that was laid during the development of the Sustainability Plan.

“The Climate Action Plan is a separate, though related, document to the Sustainability Plan,” said Cadmus. “These two documents will exist together and provide the campus with a roadmap toward achieving carbon neutrality and encouraging sustainable behaviors.”

The CAP is a metrics-based document that analyzes the existing greenhouse gas emissions reports for the institution and works to reduce those emissions by suggesting potential implementation strategies. Additional measures are taken to encourage the institution to increase the data collected which can offer a more accurate representation of institutional emissions and may, ultimately, reveal trends and issues that will require more advanced mitigation strategies.

Representatives from each of OHIO’s regional campuses participated in the planning process.

“Even though we had some incredible regional representation in this planning process, PACSP is concerned that we may not have adequately captured each campus’ unique needs,” said Cadmus.

Therefore, the group is working to offer additional regional outreach in their request for CAP feedback.

Creators of this document anticipate that a final draft will be presented to President Roderick J. McDavis for approval by late summer 2012. It is anticipated that initial implementation of the plan can begin by December of 2012.

Anyone interested in reviewing the first draft of this document is invited to view it online at: http://issuu.com/sustainableou/docs/ou_cap_draft?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222. Feedback can be emailed to sustainability@ohio.edu. Or, those who wish to keep their feedback anonymous are able to submit their responses online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/OUCAPFeedback. Public vetting will remain open until May 25.