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Office of Sustainability


The Office of Sustainability will have variable in-person hours for the indefinite future, but is open virtually during normal business hours.   Please subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates or email with questions.


What is Sustainability

Ohio University defines sustainability as the capacity to simultaneously benefit people, the planet and prosperity now and in the future. Life-cycle analysis, life-cycle costing, social financial proxies, and multi-criteria decision analyses are tools that are used to evaluate sustainability. Also used at Ohio University is a popular but less actionable definition, adapted from the Bruntland definition of sustainable development: sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability facilitates the implementation of the Ohio University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan by providing services and support to the campus community and ensures fulfillment of institutional commitments to environmental, social and economic well-being. 

News and Announcements

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  • Tom Redfern receives the OEFFA’s 2024 Serv...

    Last Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) conference in Newark, Ohio, Tom Redfern, the Senior Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry at Rural Action, received the OEFFA’s 2024 Service Award.

    This award is granted to individuals who made significant and meaningful contributions of service that improve the adoption of ecological, profitable or socially just agricultural practices or systems.

    In the ceremony, Redfern was introduced by John Stock, Sustainable Agriculture Educator at the OEFFA, who remembered Redfern’s beginnings in agriculture, recognizing how his dedication and passion contributed to generating a beneficial impact in local communities. One example of this is the Chesterhill Produce Auction.

  • SOPEC AND Rural Action’s partnership aims ...

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the Rural Energy for America Program Technical Assistance Grant (REAP TAG) to the Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC), which will be partnering with Rural Action for its execution. This grant will leverage Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Whole Farm Project and Rural Action’s Sustainable Energy Pledge program, benefiting rural small businesses and agricultural producer REAP applicants.

    The REAP TAG will provide technical assistance and grant support to help interested applicants who qualify to submit a strong grant application for funding assistance.

    Luke Sulfridge, Executive Director at SOPEC, and Debbie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer at Rural Action, highlighted the importance of this grant and its positive impact on local communities.

  • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteop...

    The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has been awarded a WELL Certification at the Silver level for Heritage Hall, the college’s new, state-of-the-art medical training facility on the Athens campus. This is one of the first medical education facilities in the nation to earn this achievement from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

    “By designing with the WELL Building Standard, the Heritage College has imbued our wellness philosophy into our learning, teaching and working environment. It gives me great pride to know that we are ‘walking the walk’ of wellbeing through a facility that fosters the very type of healthy lifestyle that osteopathic medicine promotes,” said Ken Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College and chief medical affairs officer for Ohio University. “I would like to personally thank all who contributed to our design and construction efforts. Because of your dedication, Heritage Hall is a wonderful testament to the values of the osteopathic medical profession.” 

Upcoming Events

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Wednesday, March 20 Sustainability Series: THE GREAT GREEN WALL 7:00 PM — 9:00 PM Athena Cinema

Thursday, April 11 Ohio University Student Expo 7:00 AM — 4:00 PM Convocation Center

Wednesday, April 24 Sustainability Series: KISS THE GROUND 7:00 PM — 9:00 PM Athena Cinema

Sustainability Course Listings

Time to register for courses? Consider taking sustainability courses or courses that include sustainability! The Office of Sustainability tracks these courses for the University.

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Office of Sustainability Featured Programs


    Climate & Sustainability Ambassadors

    The Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors program is an initiative of the Sustainable Administration Hub.  The Ambassadors are an energetic and enthusiastic group of students who assist in the implementation of the Ohio University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.  You can find them leading the Earth Day Sustainability Parade; instructing Bobcats fans on proper disposal of game day waste; teaching in the local middle schools; labeling our storm drains with "drains to river" markers; and more!


    Sustainability Tracking and Evaluation Program (STEP)

    The Sustainability Tracking and Evaluation Program (STEP) is a sustainability certification program which aims to recognize departments or offices across campus for their sustainable efforts, whether they be existing practices or new changes.


    Sustainability Project Laboratory

    Students, do you need an idea for a course project or thesis?  Faculty, are you looking for project ideas for a project-based course?  Our Sustainability Project Laboratory may have the projects you are looking for!  These projects are designed to advance goals in the Ohio University Sustainability & Climate Action Plan while providing experiential and/or community-engaged learning opportunties for students.

Sustainability Hubs

We welcome participants to our Sustainability Hubs! The dates and topics for the Hub Seminar Series can be found on the Calendar of University events.  For more information, please sign up for our newsletter or visit our Hub webpages. For other sustainability events, please visit the Calendar of University events, and search using the keyword "sustainability."


Structure of Sustainability Hubs at Ohio University