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Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL)







SOUL is a liaison group aimed at assisting the Office of Sustainability, Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee, and the university in further implementation of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan.
Our Vision: To transform Ohio University into a model institution for sustainability leadership and action. 
Our Mission: To fulfill the Ohio University Sustainability Plan and Climate Action plan by empowering students, faculty, and staff of different educational and experiential backgrounds to engage in open dialogue, develop strong capacities for leadership, and embed sustainability into every facet of academic, operational, and institutional practices. 

2017-2018 Calendar 

SOUL will be reorganized during the 2017-2018 academic year.  Please look for a new structure in 2018-19!


Get Involved

Any student, faculty, or staff member interested in making a positive impact in sustainability at Ohio University is welcome to become a member. Students who wish to become even more involved with efforts can enroll in SOUL as part of the Sustainability Implementation course, ES4832/ES5832 (more information below).


Meetings typically involve the discussion of various sustainability initiatives, strategizing and creation of tasks, professional development activities, or guest visitors.


Join the Sustainability Implementation class

ES 4832 (5932 for graduate students)

  • Elective open to ALL students.
  • Overview: Critical analysis of the Ohio University Sustainability & Climate Action Plan, exploration of contemporary activism approaches, and implementation of effective projects and feasibility studies to advance institutional sustainability efforts.
  • Work with faculty and staff on a sustainability-related project throughout the semester. Examples of previous class projects can be found here.
  • Class meets once a week from 3pm-5pm, and Discussion Groups meet weekly (times TDB based on participant availability).
  • Email sustainability@ohio.edu for more information.


Benefits of Participation

  • Improve skills in leadership, communication, networking, and policy development
  • Potential for regional and national marketing of efforts
  • Gain professional development experience in sustainability and how it applies to a variety of disciplines
  • Contribute to leading efforts in furthering sustainability at Ohio University


History of SOUL

During the drafting of Ohio University's Climate Action Plan, SOUL emerged as an idea conceived by the Behavior Change and Implementation Management Sub-Council for bringing together diverse individuals across campus to implement sustainability goals. They visualized SOUL to be a liaison group creating a link between the Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee, the Office of Sustainability, and the campus community that would enable sustainability leadership among students, faculty, and staff. Following President McDavis' formal approval of the plan in November of 2012, Office of Sustainability staff began organizing the structure and plan for this new group. 

In January of 2013, the first meeting for SOUL was held. Since then, the group has evolved to include four different sub-groups that address the 35 different benchmarks of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plans, and has generated a strong membership of sustainability leaders. SOUL meetings are now held weekly on Wednesday afternoons, and participation is continually growing in size and strength.  


Sub-group Structure: 

SOUL is divided into four different sub-groups that each meet once per month to discuss progress on benchmarks and plan future action steps. Meetings are designed as open forums for any interested university member to attend. Click on the links below to learn more about the activities of each sub-group and view past meeting minutes. 


Addresses issues of land and resource management, parking and transportation, local food purchasing, and water and irrigation systems.


Addresses issues of sustainability literacy, curriculum and degree programs, fundraising and capital campaigns, behavior change, and sustainability research.


Addresses issues of recycling, composting, dining education, material reduction, and surplus food donations.


Addresses issues of greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy, building efficiency, sustainable investing, and environmental purchasing.



Ohio University Sustainability Plan

Ohio University Climate Action Plan

Fiscal Year 2012 Sustainability Plan Report

American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment