The Sustainability Institute participates in major sustainability networks at the national and global level to share the stories of our innovative Ohio State partnerships, such as the ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure comprehensive energy management agreement, with other academic institutions. These networking opportunities enable Ohio State to stay at the forefront of sustainability and resilience strategies, especially related to climate change, by benchmarking and exchanging best practices.
U.S. Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Ohio State was one of the first universities in the Midwest to join the U.S. Sustainability Development Solutions Network, an effort to advance awareness and understanding of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through American institutions of higher education. Since joining, the Sustainability Institute has synchronized the university’s sustainability goals with the SDGs. The exercise has made Ohio State more competitive in global rankings involving the SDGs.
University Climate Change Coalition
The Sustainability Institute staffs Ohio State’s participation in the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a coalition of academic institutions that leverages relationships and expertise to accelerate local climate solutions and build community resilience. Ohio State participates alongside nearly two dozen universities from the United States, Canada and Mexico that pledge to mobilize their resources and expertise to accelerate local and regional climate action in partnership with businesses, cities and states, foundations and others.
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is a global umbrella organization for universities with a strong commitment to sustainability. The association provides technical resources and networking opportunities as well as administers a voluntary reporting program that looks at the full scope of sustainability at a university: environmental, social and economic. Ohio State achieved a Gold STARS rating from AASHE. Surveys including U.S. News & World Report use the AASHE ratings as part of their university evaluations. Importantly, so do many prospective students.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center received the Greenhealth Emerald Award and the Circles of Excellence in Climate from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. In FY2019, sustainability efforts resulted in $3 million in cost avoidance and an increase in landfill diversion to 32% from 28%.
Case Study: Midwest Climate Summit
The 2020 Midwest Climate Summit brought together leading Midwestern organizations from various sectors to drive measurable, regional action on climate change. Summit members are continuing work to accelerate climate action in the Midwest by creating evidence, catalyzing action, informing public knowledge and public policy, and developing the future leaders needed to sustain and expand this work.