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A group portrait of the sustainability climate ambassadors

Sustainable Administration Hub: Climate

Sustainable Administration Hub: Climate

Sustainable Administration Hub: Climate


A climate which supports people and prosperity was the first concern and is the most important theme of Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability.  Ohio University signed the Presidents Carbon Commitment (formerly American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, or ACUPCC) in 2007 to show our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our carbon neutrality date is 2050. Our 2021 5-year Sustainability and Climate Action plan includes a goal of 50% emissions reduction from a fiscal year 2012 baseline by 2026. We aim to meet that goal with 100% reduction of emissions from electricity usage, and with efforts to heating and cooling, commuting, paper purchasing emissions. The Office of Sustainability is charged with facilitating the university's effort to combat the climate crisis and spurring sustainable lifestyles and activities in the university community.

Sustainability Project Laboratory Icon

The Sustainability Project Laboratory is a database of sustainability-related project proposals. This resource hosts projects and project ideas that can be adopted by faculty, staff, and students for course projects, capstone or senior projects, theses, and more.

To find climate related projects just type "climate" into the search bar at the top of the database, or click the Sustainability Project Laboratory icon to the right


How We Are Doing

Ohio University has committed to being carbon neutral by the year 2075, but the carbon neutrality data of 2050 is proposed for the 2021 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan (see above).

Carbon emissions are calculated each year and are reported(opens in a new window) to Second Nature, the organization responsible for the Presidents' Carbon Commitment.  Ohio University is a signatory of the Presidents' Carbon Commitment, formerly the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  Reporting lags by over a year, as carbon emissions for one fiscal year are due May 1 of the next fiscal year.


Ohio University Carbon Emissions, FY12-FY2


Ohio University Nitrogen Emissions, FY12-FY20

Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) is the baseline year for Ohio University, and emissions have decreased substantially on the Athens Campus since FY12, thanks primarily to:

  1. ) energy conservation measures through the Energy Infrastructure Project (EIP),
  2. ) fuel switching from coal to all natural gas at the Lausche Heating Plant on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, and
  3. ) the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) for 50% of electricity purchases, beginning in January, 2016, and beginning in January, 2021 for 100% of electricity purchases.

In 2016, an effort was made to create baseline greenhouse gas emissions across all campuses. Baseline data has been collected from Southern, Chillicothe and Lancaster campuses, and emissions reports are partially completed.


2021 Hub Supported Initiatives

Initiatives Goals SCAP Alignment

Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors:

A decentralized student volunteer and climate action group.

1.Create opportunities for student engagement in the areas of climate literacy and/or sustainability, with the specific goal of having each Ambassador participate in 3 events a semester

2. Increase student engagement at Ohio University in the areas of sustainability and climate literacy;

3.To foster existing relationships and form new partnerships with key groups both on and off campus to foster an engagement ecosystem around the concepts of sustainability and climate literacy. 

Waste Reduction, Energy Use Reduction, Transportation Emissions Reduction. Improving Climate Literacy.

Hub Seminars:

Monthly Seminars, open to the public for Hub Coordinators, Faculty and Staff to discuss SCAP goals.
To promote communication regarding the University’s Climate Action plan with students, staff, and faculty; and across all campuses and centers Communication and Education for all SCAP targets and initiatives


Initiative (Lead Department/Unit) SCAP Alignment

2050 Carbon Neutrality Pledge (President’s Office)

Ohio University’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality
Reduce institutional greenhouse gas emissions
Annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory (Office of Sustainability) Reduce institutional greenhouse gas emissions


Current Projects

  • Hocking River Channel Biodiversity
  • Ohio Carbon Offsets
  • Plant-based Burgers Taste Testing
  • Barn Renovation
  • Determining Carbon Emissions from Commuting
  • Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis GUI Tool
  • People-Powered Bike Bus
  • Solar Installments
  • Invasive Species Goat Grazing
  • Educational Campaign for District Recycling
  • Drop-off Locations
  • Energy Competitions

Ohio University Experts

Name:  Contact:  Description:  
Geoffrey Dabelko dabelkog@ohio.edu Professor; Associate Dean, Voinovich School  
Sarah Davis daviss6@ohio.edu

Associate Professor

Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service
John Sabraw sabraw@ohio.edu Professor of Art and Chair of Painting + Drawing  
Kevin Crist cristk@ohio.edu

Director, Center for Air Quality and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Tom Smucker smucker@ohio.edu Associate Professor & Graduate Chair  
Sustainable Climate Environment and Advocate



A climate advocacy group in Athens, Ohio  
Environment and Sustainability Commission




A commission of city of Athens to implement environment and sustainability goals   
Rural Action https://ruralaction.org/our-work/sustainable-energy-solutions/ A nonprofit that focuses on public and environmental enrichment projects in Appalachian Ohio   
Ryan Fogt fogtr@ohio.edu Sustainable Administration Hub Coordinator  
Elaine Goetze goetze@ohio.edu Director of Energy Management & Sustainability