Ohio State Receives EPA Award

Ohio State recently was recognized for its commitment to environmental stewardship. The university received the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Gold Level award. 

“We are really proud of this award as it is a recognition of the university’s leadership and vision and the fact that sustainability is an integral part of our university business practices,” said Aparna Dial, senior director of sustainability and strategic services.

The EPA recognizes businesses, industries, trade associations, professional organizations or local governments for their commitment to environmental excellence. 

The group evaluated Ohio State using environmental stewardship criteria like pollution prevention, energy efficiency, sustainable materials and purchasing, recycling programs, organics diversion, green building and more.

The Gold Level award recognizes organizations that have comprehensive environmental stewardship programs, go beyond regulatory compliance requirements, and complete environmental stewardship activities that reduce waste and improve environmental performance.

Ohio State is committed to solving sustainability challenges facing the campus community, the region and beyond. Some of the highlights of the university’s work include creating sustainability policy and standards, a climate action plan, staff sustainability and zero waste certification and a stormwater master plan.

The EPA will provide several accommodations to the university, including a listing on the website and a news release praising its environmental accomplishments. THe university also will get an opportunity to work with the organization to enhance environmental assistance, reduce inspection frequency, reduce time to obtain permit modifications, give updates on environmental stewardship information and create marketing opportunities to highlight environmental accomplishments.

Ohio State was one of 19 organizations recognized for their accomplishments.  “Through recycling efforts, waste-reduction processes, renewable energy programs, and sustainability programs, these companies are making a major impact in their communities,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson said. “I am very pleased to honor these organizations with the Encouraging Environmental Excellence award.”

The EPA said that the goal of environmental stewardship is to reduce the impact of business or organizational activities on the environment beyond measures required by any permit or rule, producing a better environment, conserving natural resources and resulting in long-term economic benefits.