Building a more sustainable and resilient future for all
The Sustainability Institute integrates, supports and leads sustainability across the university to:
• Promote sustainability and resilience teaching and learning • Catalyze interdisciplinary research that drives discovery and innovation • Engage public and private sector partners to develop and apply sustainable solutions • Integrate sustainability scholarship with campus activities to engage students in research and experiential learning • Provide a competitive advantage in attracting exceptional new talent, students, partnerships and resources
Click here to learn what Ohio State faculty, staff and students are doing to advance the mission of Earth Day 2020.
The Sustainability Institute at Ohio State
Today, our planet’s life support systems are rapidly transforming. The ecosystems that sustain us are fluctuating, due to continued population growth, resource consumption, environmental degradation and climate change.
As a society, we stand at a crossroads between a sustainable and resilient future and one that leaves future generations to deal with unprecedented environmental change, resource scarcities and growing social inequities.
At Ohio State, we are poised to make lasting contributions to solving many of the world’s most complex and pervasive challenges. Our interdisciplinary research capacity, culture of problem solving and strategic partnerships with private industry, public agencies and non-governmental organizations offer countless opportunities to create transformational change in Ohio and around the world.
The time to act is now.
About The Sustainability Institute
Ohio State is a comprehensive land-grant research university with hundreds of faculty in sustainability, thousands of passionate students, an enduring land-grant mission, and a strong commitment to sustainability in its campus operations. We are dedicated to leveraging our research and knowledge to enable more sustainable and resilient communities in Ohio, our nation and the global community.
Over 600 faculty and research scientists are engaged in sustainability research; we teach more than 1,000 courses that support sustainability learning; and we are engaged in Ohio communities and around the world to improve social, economic and environmental conditions.
SustainNews: Stories about sustainability initiatives undertaken by the university in research, student engagement, campus sustainability and collaborations with the public and private sector
July 09, 2020
July 09, 2020
10:00am - 12:00pm
Webinar: Forecast for Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake...
July 29, 2020
July 29, 2020
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Webinar: Effect of COVID-19 on Mobility
Ohio State soil scientist Rattan Lal awarded World Food Prize
June 12, 2020
A soil scientist at The Ohio State University whose research spans five continents has been awarded this year’s World Food Prize for increasing the global food supply by helping small farmers improve their soil.
Over five decades, Rattan Lal, a Distinguished University Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and an affiliated faculty member at the Sustainability institute, has reduced hunger by pioneering agricultural methods across the globe that not only restore degraded soil but also reduce global warming.
“Every year we are astounded by the quality of nominations for the Prize, but Dr. Lal’s stellar work on management and conservation of agriculture’s most cherished natural resource, the soil, set him apart,” said Gebisa Ejeta, chair of the World Food Prize Selection Committee and 2009 recipient of the award.
“I am absolutely thrilled to learn that Distinguished University Professor and Ohio State alumnus Dr. Rattan Lal has received the World Food Prize,” said President Michael V. Drake. “This tremendous honor is fitting recognition for the many ways he has uplifted people and communities around the world throughout his extraordinary career as a scientist, advocate and educator.”
“The impact of his research and advocacy on sustainability of agriculture and the environment cannot be overstressed,” Ejeta said.
Beginning in the 1970s with his research in West Africa, Lal has discovered ways to reduce deforestation, control soil erosion, and enrich soil by managing a critical element in the soil: organic carbon.
His research has provided the scientific foundation to show that soil can not only solve the global challenge of food insecurity but also global warming.
As the 2020 winner of the World Food Prize announced today via webcast, Lal was awarded $250,000, which he will donate for future soil research and education. He is the first at Ohio State to receive the award.
“It is a privilege and honor to be of service to the many small farmers from around the world because I was one of them. They are stewards of the land. They are the ones with the tremendous challenge of feeding the world,” said Lal, who is founding director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Centerin CFAES at Ohio State.
Lal was listed by Thomson Reuters as among the top 1% of the most-cited scientists in agriculture for the 2014 to 2019 period and among the world’s most influential scientific minds in 2015.
A faculty member at Ohio State for 33 years, Lal was recognized for his contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
In 2019, Lal became the first soil scientist and the first person at Ohio State to receive the Japan Prize. A year before, he received the 2018 World Agriculture Prize and the 2018 Glinka World Soil Prize.
Beyond Lal’s worldwide contributions to soil health, one of his more remarkable aspects is the trajectory of his life.
At age 5, he and his family left west Punjab, resettling in northern India, as refugees, in a village without electricity. There, he and his family worked a small 7-acre farm using oxen. While his elder siblings ran the family farm, Lal was the only one who had a chance to go to school, the only one in his family who learned to read and write.
“Those of us at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are extremely proud of our colleague, Dr. Rattan Lal, and his incredible achievements. He has a prolific research portfolio and is one of the most influential scientists in the world,” said Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean of CFAES Cathann A. Kress.
All of Lal’s work has been guided by one principle: The health of soil, plants, animals, people, and the environment all depend on each other.