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Chief of Staff, Molly Pennington, left, listens to Treasurer, Trinity Robinson, right, at the student senate meeting in Walter Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 14 2022.

Student Senate: Office of Sustainability’s Elaine Goetz and Sam Crowl discuss carbon reduction

Student Senate met Wednesday and heard from Director of Energy Management and Sustainability Elaine Goetz and Associate Director Sam Crowl who a presentation about what Ohio University is doing to reduce its carbon footprint.

Goetz began the presentation by explaining the role of the Office of Sustainability, defining sustainability as “a multi-criteria, systems-thinking, decision-making framework” that functions based on three scopes: people, the planet and prosperity.

“It’s not just a word you throw out when you feel like you’re doing something that’s green,” Goetz said.

Crowl told Senate that OU is a signatory to the Carbon Commitment, which has identified a carbon neutrality target year of 2050. Crowl also said it was moved up from an original target year of 2075.

Goetz said that current goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and ensuring 36% of OU’s energy comes from renewable forms by 2026, as well as more courses and programs for a sustainability major.

Crowl also added that OU is labeled as a silver institution by both the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System, or STARS; and the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC.

“We hope to get to gold one day; we’ve been very close,” Crowl said. 

He also said OU has taken steps in athletics to become more green, examining waste produced from Peden Stadium and working since 2017 to become even more bicycle-friendly.

“You can't just think about it in your little house or you can't just think about it on your street or in your residence hall or in your building. It's got to be everywhere,” Crowl said.

Following the presentation by the Office of Sustainability, Senate moved to fill vacancies.

Alex Parker was appointed Minority Affairs Commissioner.

Jordann Lightning was appointed as a Senator to the Minority Affairs Commission.

Dylan DeMonte was appointed College of Arts and Sciences Senator.

Raghda Eshaloudly was appointed International Affairs Senator.


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