Sustainable Resources

Conserving resources and protecting human and ecosystem health through innovations in technologies, processes and institutional structures that reduce resource consumption, improve resource efficiency and minimize environmental impacts

Sustainability relies on the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems for future generations. Our researchers are improving the environment and economy through the development of new materials, technologies and processes that reduce environmental pollution and enable abundant or renewable resources to be substituted for nonrenewable resources. We are researching governance, institutions and cultural norms to learn how communities can better manage shared resources and ensure that human activities do not deplete renewable resources or degrade critical ecosystem functions.


We are examining the in-situ remediation of contaminated soils and the development and application of cost effective soil treatments to reduce exposure to lead hazards. In another project, we investigate the beneficial use of agricultural, industrial and municipal by-products through land application and soil and environmental chemistries of by-products in agronomic/environmental systems with emphasis on their risk and environmental impact.


Ohio State is reducing fossil fuels as industrial feedstocks through the creation of renewable materials such as biorubber. The university's Rubber Pilot Plant produces high quality rubber for the tire industry and for medical quality latex hypoallergenic gloves. Watch Katrina Cornish, horticulture and crop science and a member of the Sustainability Institute's Faculty Advisory Board, give her TEDxColumbus talk, "Avoiding a rubber apocalypse - let's grow our own."


Our researchers assess how large-scale industrial processes use not just natural resources, but also public investments in infrastructure, to reduce costs, transfer liabilities and maximize profits in ways that create major ecological and health consequences for consumers and communities on global and local scales.