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Sustainable Ohio University Leaders






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.

Vision Statement:

Our vision is to transform Ohio University into a model institution for sustainability leadership and action. 

Mission Statement:

Our mission is 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. 



Fall 2014 Calendar 

All SOUL meetings are held from 3:30-5:00pm in Baker 239

Wednesday, August 27th: Energy Efficiency

Wednesday, September 3th: Built Environments
Guest Speaker: Erin Robb, the Purchasing Specialist at Culinary Services, will give an overview of food purchasing at Ohio University.

Wednesday, September 10th: Outreach and Education

Wednesday, September 17th: Waste Reduction

Wednesday, September 24th: Energy Efficiency
Guest speaker: Joe Lalley, senior associate vice president of Information Technologies and Administrative Services, will provide a status update on energy production at OHIO.

Wednesday, October 1st: Built Environments

Wednesday, October 8th: Outreach and Education

Wednesday, October 15th: Waste Reduction

Wednesday, October 22nd: Energy Efficiency

Wednesday, October 29th: NO SOUL MEETING

Wednesday, November 5th: Built Environments
Guest speaker: Elaine Goetz, Sustainability Specialist at the Office of Sustainability, will speak about storm water management systems.

Wednesday, November 12th: Outreach and Education
Guest speaker: Sarah Davis, Associate Professor for Environmental Studies, will discuss how to promote sustainability research for faculty. 

Wednesday, November 19th: Waste Reduction

Wednesday, November 26th: NO SOUL MEETING

Wednesday, December 3rd: Built Environments


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. Starting this year, students can also take part in SOUL as part of the Sustainability Implementation Practicum (more information below).


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


Meetings are held on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00PM in Baker 239


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.


Join the SOUL class

ES 4900 (5900 for graduate students)

  • 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
  • 2 credits: 1 credit lecture and 1 credit lab
  • Class meets on Wednesdays from 3pm-5pm, and Discussion Groups meet weekly (times TDB based on participant availability)
  • Email for more information


Basecamp Online

Can't attend SOUL meetings regularly? Another way to get involved is to sign up on our Basecamp account. Basecamp is our way of managing projects in an online forum, where members can access information from any location and discuss tasks and ideas. There are 35 different "projects" for each of the 35 benchmarks of the Sustainability Plan, and SOUL members are continually making updates by posting status updates, new to-do items, starting discussions and uploading documents. If you are interested in being added to our Basecamp account, e-mail to make contributions even if you're unable to attend meetings. 



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.  




Ohio University Sustainability Plan

Ohio University Climate Action Plan

Fiscal Year 2012 Sustainability Plan Report

American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment