Sustainability at OSU

Carbon Planning Toolkit

Welcome to Oregon State University's sustainability website! 

About

Thank you for your interest in sustainability at OSU!

Sustainability at OSU is a collaborative effort between multiple organizations, due to the multifaceted nature of sustainability and the breadth of sustainability related subject matter covered at OSU.

SUSTAINABILITY ORGANIZATIONS

The three organizations listed below play a leadership role in integrating sustainability into OSU's mission and operations. Although each has a different emphasis area, the Sustainability Office, Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative partner on programming throughout the year that reaches across all audiences.

OSU Sustainability Office

The Sustainability Office provides consultation and support to departments across campus and directly manages operations, outreach and assessment programming. The Sustainability Office is part of Capital Planning and Development.

OSU Campus Recycling

Campus Recycling manages a comprehensive waste management system that focuses on reducing, reusing and recycling with disposal as a last resort. Campus Recycling is part of Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management.

OSU SSI

The Student Sustainability Initiative works to advance student efforts to create a culture of sustainability at OSU through programming that fosters environmental, social, and economic justice. The Student Sustainability Initiative is part of Student Leadership and Involvement.

 

UNIVERSITY PARTNERS 

Oregon State University Extension Service

OSU's most extensive outreach tool provides an abundance of sustainability-related information for many audiences.

OSU Energy Efficiency Center

The EEC provides the Northwest with a laboratory to develop a knowledge base of new and common efficiency opportunities in a range of sectors, currently including industry, agriculture and commercial facilities. The center is built on student management with faculty mentorship and oversight.

Integrated Plant Protection Center

IPPC is dedicated to an integrated approach to developing and supporting effective, economical management of agricultural pests and the rational use of pesticides within the context of sound ecological principles and social realities.

Sustainable Forestry Partnership

Formed at OSU in 1995, Partnership Institutions now include Auburn, Penn State, OSU and USDA. Together, their mission is to document and promote innovation in sustainable forestry and help others integrate this innovation broadly into both policy and practice.

The Spring Creek Project

The Spring Creek Project brings together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.

 COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Corvallis Sustainability Coalition

Corvallis's main network of organizations and individual volunteers aimed at engaging the community in sustainability efforts. 

Corvallis Environmental Center

A local group educating and assisting people in the areas of local food security, environmental education, and energy conservation. They also manage Energize Corvallis, a program dedicated to helping Corvallis become one of the most energy-efficient, climate-friendly communities in the United States.

By The Numbers

All data taken from the STARS 2014 report.

Recognition

Awards and Honors

for sustainability practices at Oregon State University

STARS Gold

OSU has several times attained a Gold rating in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. As a STARS Charter Participant, OSU was the first school in Oregon to submit its report.  STARS is a set of peer reviewed, standardized indicators that help measure, and therefore manage, sustainability efforts within higher education. OSU received Gold designations for 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Princeton Review Guide to Green Schools Award In 2012, The Princeton Review named OSU to its Honor Roll for the 16 Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges. In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 OSU was recognized in the annual Guide to Green Colleges for sustainability practices such as food sourcing, transportation, green building, opportunities to focus on the environment and sustainability in curriculum. For 2016, OSU is ranked number 39.
Gold-level bike friendly university OSU is one of twelve universities in the United States to be awarded Gold-Level designation by the League of American Bicyclists under the Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) Program. The league recognizes institutions of higher education for providing a bicycle-friendly campus for students, staff and visitors. The BFU program provides a roadmap for technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling and commuting via bicycle. 
recyclemania Oregon State University placed first in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015 in the annual Civil War RecycleMania competition with University of Oregon. 
kaplan In 2008, OSU was rated as one of the top 25 green colleges and universities by the Kaplan College Guide. A number of criteria, including environmentally-responsible courses, and initiatives, as well as student groups and organizations on campus, were evaluated to develop the list.
cool school

For the 2013 Sierra Club "Cool Schools" ranking, Oregon State had the highest green ranking in the state and is listed as 11th in the nation, rising from 24th in 2010.  OSU received high scores for co-curricular education, research, planning, sustainability administration and several other categories. For 2014, OSU placed 41st in the nation and for 2015, OSU is ranked 42nd.
green

OSU was awarded a Green Power Leadership Award in 2008 from the US Environmental Protection Agency and has been a large purchaser of renewable energy. OSU has also dominated the PAC-12 conference in terms of renewable energy purchases. For several years, the university purchased the majority of its electricity from renewable sources.

 

Best Workplaces for Commuters logo OSU's main campus has been designated by the National Center for Urban Transportation Research as one of their Best Workplaces for Commuters. This designation recognizes employers for outstanding efforts to provide alternative to the single occupancy vehicle. 
leed

OSU has over a dozen LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings, with one being certified at the highest rating, Platinum. All construction and major remodels on campus are LEED silver or higher.  


For the last six years, Oregon State has been the recipient of Tree Campus USA, awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Tree Campus standards require the school to have a campus tree advisory committee, campus tree care plan, campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project. OSU has succeeded in receiving the award every year since 2010.

 

AASHE

 

In 2015, BestColleges.com ranked Oregon State as #10 in its Greenest College Rankings. Our strong emphasis on marine science, sustainability, and forestry research helped secure our ranking. Our high STARS rating and our Campuses Take Charge event were also used to help distinguish our school as a green school.

 

 

 

 

 In 2015, Oregon State was listed in AASHE's Sustainable Campus Index. The Sustainable Campus Index highlights and recognizes colleges and universties that are top performers in 17 areas measured by the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS). The report also highlights best practices from over 50 US, Canadian and Mexican institutions that have submitted a STARS report in the last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partnerships   

Oregon State University is a Partner in the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition


Corvallis Sustainability Coalition logo

About the Sustainability Office

History

The Oregon State University Sustainability Office is housed in the Finance and Administration division. The Sustainability Office was formed by the creation of a full time sustainability coordinator position in November 2005. In December 2007, an additional half-time position was created primarily to support the collection and management of campus utility data. In November 2008, the half-time position was moved to a permanent full time position and duties expanded to focus on energy conservation efforts.

Mission

The Sustainability Office exists to - in the most sustainable way possible - support OSU’s mission to promote economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world. The Sustainability Office fosters a culture of sustainability, enhances student competency around issues of sustainability, reduces the university’s overall environmental impact and communicates sustainability efforts to the campus community and external audiences. It aims to offer the highest quality of services to the OSU campus in its four functional areas:

  • Infrastructure and Policy
  • Outreach and Communication
  • Assessment
  • Student Engagement and Academic Support

Mirroring the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, many projects and initiatives overlap multiple functional areas. Several projects and programs detailed on this website are managed or directly supported by the Office, while others are partnerships with other OSU units.

Sustainability Office Staff

Sustainability Office Staff

Brandon Trelstad: Sustainability Officer

Brandon helped create and has filled this position since November 2005.  Previously, he worked for about four years in OSU’s Government Relations office, during which he interned with Governor Kitzhaber's office.  His primary duties include managing communication about sustainability efforts, identifying and obtaining funding for conservation and efficiency projects, supporting student and academic sustainability efforts, setting OSU's strategic direction toward sustainability and tracking and reporting on institutional progress toward sustainability. Brandon chairs OSU's Transportation Committee and Sustainability Advisory Council, and serves on several other committees as well.

In 2010, Brandon was recognized by 1000 Friends of Oregon as one of the state's 35 Innovators Under 35.  Read more in an April 2011 article about Brandon and the Sustainability Office. 

Email Brandon

Leticia Cavazos: Program Specialist

Leticia was hired as a student at the Sustainability Office in June of 2014. In December 2016, she transitioned to the full-time position of Program Specialist. Her primary duties include utility data acquisition, management, and analysis, meter hardware management, and sustainability assessment.

Email Leticia

Ragen Venti: Graphic Design Student

Ragen was hired on at the Sustainability Office in August of 2016 as the Graphic Design Student. He is an undergraduate studying Graphic Design in the School of Business. Ragen's position is focused on graphic design, web, print, and user experience, the position also covers some outreach and student interaction.

Keava Campbell: Utility Data Analyst Student Technician

Keava was hired at the Sustainability Office in August 2016. She is an undergraduate student in Civil Engineering. Keava's posistion is focused on collecting, organizing and compiling information regarding OSU's utility consumption.

Kiera Usagawa: Energy Project Student Technician 

Kiera joined the Sustainability Office in May 2015. She is currently an undergraduate student in Civil Engineering. Kiera's focus is Solar Trailer upgrades and maitenance, building sustainability audits and meter reading. 

Olivia Grenier : Energy Project Student Technician

Olivia joined the Sustainability Office in May 2016. She is currently an undergradate studying Civil Engineering. Olivia works with the Solar Trailer, as well as building sustainability audits and meter reading.

Nikki Meads: Energy Project Student Technician

Nikki joined the Sustainability Office in April 2017. She is currently an undergraduate studying Construction Engineering Management. Nikki works with the Solar Trailer, as well as building sustainability audits and meter reading.

Jack Woods: Utility Data Analyst Student Technician

Jack joined the Sustainability Office in April 2017. He is currently studying Computer Science. Jack's focus is on data management, special projects regarding computer information technology and website tools.

Dana Lester: Digital Media and Outreach Student

Dana joined the Sustainability Office team in May 2016. She is currently studying Nutrition and Dietetics with a minor in Chemistry. Dana manages the the social media platforms for the office, and connects and involves the community with sustainability efforts on campus. Additionally, Dana plays a supportive role within the Carbon Planning efforts for OSU. She also helps manage the OSU sustainability blog, the Ecologue

Bailey Wood: Digital Media and Outreach Student

Bailey joined the Sustainability Office in May 2017. She is currently an undergraduate student studying Merchandising Management and Sustainability. Bailey helps manage the social media platforms for the office, as well as the OSU sustainability blog, the Ecologue. She connects and involves the community with sustainability efforts on campus. She also plays a supporting role in campus-wide programs. 

Kennedy Grant: Digital Media and Marketing Student

Kennedy joined the Sustainability Office team in May 2017. She is currently studying Managerial Economics with a minor in Sustainability. Kennedy manages the social media platforms for the office and the OSU sustainability blog, the Ecologue. Additionally, she connects and involves the Oregon State community with ongoing sustainability efforts on campus.

  Sustainability Office Social Media

Facebook

facebook.com/OSUsustainable

@OSUsustainable

Instagram

 @OSUsustainable

Academics

Featured Programs

University-wide

Sustainability Double-Degree

Oregon State University now offers sustainability education via a unique double-degree format.  A sustainability minor is also available.  Given the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, the double-degree is tailored for students in all academic disciplines.  Students are required to complete 180 credits in an OSU major (or other from another baccalaureate degree institution) and can receive a second Bachelor’s degree in sustainability by completing an additional 36 credits.  Final approval from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education was granted March 1, 2012.

Students may obtain a Bachelor of Science, Sustainability after completing 36 credits of required and elective courses and a practicum, such as an internship or research project. Students may earn a Sustainability Minor after completing 27 credits of required and elective courses.

Sustainability Focused Courses

More than 41 different departments on OSU's Corvallis campus offer courses that emphasize sustainability. From environmental science to business, students in almost any major can find sustainability focused courses without departing from their degree paths. Sustainability courses are not limited to OSU's main campus, courses can also be taken through OSU's Cascades and Hatfield campuses as well as online.

College of Business

Austin Entrepreneurship Program

The Austin Entrepreneurship Program at Weatherford Residential College is a unique living-learning environment for undergraduates offering entrepreneurship courses, hands-on experience, and the opportunity to explore business ideas. One of the four key initiatives is: Responsible, Sustainable Business Practices, exemplifying the importance of sustainability in the business plan of today's entrepreneurs.

College of Engineering

Ecological Engineering Degree

Launched as the first undergraduate degree program of its kind, the ecological engineering degree is offered through OSU’s Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering. Ecological engineers combine basic and applied science from engineering, ecology, economics, and natural sciences to design sustainable systems that will integrate human activities with the natural environment to the benefit of both.

Graduate School

Sustainable Natural Resources Graduate Certificate

This 18-credit online certificate is designed for all students, especially company, industry, or agency employees who desire more training in assessing and solving complex sustainability problems. Students will receive graduate-level university credits and a graduate certificate upon successful completion of the program. With approval, credits may be transferred to other graduate degree programs at OSU, and may be applied to the Professional Science Master's (PSM) in Environmental Sciences.

Learning Goals for Graduates

In 2010, OSU adopted Learning Goals for Graduates that included Social Responsibility and Sustainability.  Although not embedded specifically into the language of every major, the Goals apply to all OSU graduates.

The goals include:

1. Competency and Knowledge in Multiple Fields
2. Critical Thinking
3. Pluralism and Cultural Legacies
4. Collaboration
5. Social Responsibility and Sustainability
6. Communication
7. Self-Awareness and Life-Long Learning

Goal 5, Social Responsibility and Sustainability, states: "As an OSU graduate, you will develop the capacity to construct an engaged, contributing life, and to engage in actions that reflect an understanding of the values of service, citizenship and social responsibility, and demonstrate global competence by understanding the interdependent nature of local and global communities."

Sustainability Course Determination

In partnership with Faculty Senate and Academic Programs, Assessment and Accreditation, the Sustainability Office uses the Curriculum Proposal System (CPS) to identify the number of courses with sustainability content at OSU.  This process helps the campus community by identifying how courses align with OSU's Strategic Plan, particularly Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems and OSU's core values, which include social responsibility. 

Course Determination Frequently Asked Questions

Will checking the "sustainability" checkbox impact the outcome of my proposal or the time it takes for my proposal to progress through the Curriculum Proposal System?

No.  The purpose of the "sustainability" checkbox is simply to alert the OSU Sustainability Office of a course that might be eligible for inclusion in a list of courses that incorporate sustainability.

Why does OSU need to know whether this course incorporates sustainability?

As a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) the Sustainability Office tracks all aspects of sustainability across the OSU campus.  This includes maintaining a list of courses that incorporate sustainability.  To facilitate this process, the OSU Sustainability Office asks that faculty indicate when courses might incorporate some aspect of sustainability.  Additional outcomes of this work include greater student understanding and visibility of OSU's sustainability course capacity, support for the sustainability double degree and other programs that might benefit from a course list, and creating a network of sustainability practitioners.

How is sustainability defined for the purpose of this reporting?

Sustainability has been defined in many different ways.  Two definitions that encompass the broad nature of the term are as follows:

  1. Sustainability means using, developing and protecting resources in a manner that enables people to meet current needs and provides that future generations can also meet future needs, from the joint perspective of environmental, economic and community objectives. (2001 Oregon Sustainability Act)
  2. Sustainability is the point where human endeavors reflect social equity, political stability, and economic development that is balanced with the capacity of ecosystems to absorb impacts without declining ecosystem structure and function.

What should I do if I am not certain whether this course incorporates sustainability?

If you are uncertain whether your course meets OSU’s criteria, check the "sustainability" box.  The Sustainability Office can make this determination.

More information 

OSU conducts annual sustainability assessments using STARS, a system used by nearly 700 higher education institutions worldwide.  STARS provides general guidance for designating sustainability courses.  In part, STARS bases its definitions on the principles outlined in the Earth Charter.  For additional info, please see these pages from the STARS Technical Manual that discuss the Academic Courses credit.

Oregon State's most current Academic Courses credit data were submitted in April 2015, but based on older data.  This process will be refined for the STARS assessment that will cover FY15. 

For more information or to provide feedback on this process, please contact Brandon Trelstad.

Sustainability Course Lists

OSU offers hundreds of courses that emphasize sustainability.  They have been organized below by location, including:

  • OSU's main campus in Corvallis
  • OSU-Cascades in Bend
  • Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport
  • Online through OSU's Extended Campus.

These courses attempt to link the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability.

 

View current and past lists of sustainability related and sustainability focused courses at OSU.

Current list: FY 13 Sustainability Courses

Current list: FY 13 Courses That Include Sustainability

Past Lists

2011 Sustainability Related Courses: Corvallis Campus | All OSU Locations

2010 Sustainability Related Courses: Corvallis Campus

2008/2009 Sustainability Related Courses:* Corvallis Campus l OSU-Cascades l Ecampus l HMSC

*In 2008 the Institute for Natural Resources (INR) was asked to conduct an inventory of OSU’s sustainability capabilities. The report presents the accomplishments of OSU in education, research, outreach and engagement, and campus operations. The initial course listing is based off the INR report.  View the full report.

Working with the STARS reporting system and a committee of students, faculty and staff, the OSU Sustainability Office has generated definitions of sustainability related and sustainability focused courses and created a tool to evaluate how a course fits these definitions.

If you do not find a course in the current listing you feel should be listed, please nominate it.

Operations

"Operations" includes all the business functions that make possible OSU's mission of education, research and public outreach. Campus physical development, purchasing and disposal of goods, and managing OSU's budget are all operational activities.

Managing campus infrastructure, including 570 acres and over 100 major buildings, on the Corvallis Campus is largely the responsibility of Facilities Services, but several other departments also have infrastructure responsibilities. To report a maintenance need or request service, please contact the Work Coordination Center at 737-2969.

Departments responsible for maintaining different parts of campus include:

Highlights

Oregon State University has been ranked as a sustainability leader in several different arenas and by several different entities. Check out our Recognition page for more detail.

 

Energy

Large-scale Conservation Projects

State Energy Projects (SEPs)

For energy conservation and renewable energy projects the Oregon Department of Energy offers tax credits to help businesses (and institutions like OSU) pay for costs. Fortunately, these types of projects pay for themselves over time as a result of the energy savings they generate. With financial assistance from the 

Alumni Center

State we have been able to implement some exciting upgrades. In Peavy Hall, 1207 T12 fluorescent fixtures were retrofitted to T8 resulting in over $13,000 in annual savings. Kerr experienced the same retrofit of almost 1500 fixtures resulting in over $20,000 in annual savings.

Energy Center constructionRecently, Glumac Engineering performed an ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit on the CH2M Hill Alumni Center. The audit found over $31,000 of annual savings in energy conservation measures that were then implemented. This including installing occupancy sensors, CO2 sensors, and nighttime temperature setback controls.

While the Energy Center is a green building, the state-of-the-art equipment it houses will provide significant energy and water savings. Coming online in 2008 and 2009, the Energy Center will replace the existing heat plant on the west side of campus.


Small-scale Conservation Projects

Request a Free Smart Power Strip

TS1301 - 8 Outlet Motion Sensor PowerStrip, 1080 J, 4ft cord (183SS-US-8XX)

Help promote energy conservation at OSU! Add a smart power strip to your OSU office, lunch room, or laboratory setting and save energy that would otherwise be wasted powering items on standby or forgotten items. Smart power strips have two components that make them different than regular power strips: an occupancy sensor to detect human movement and a unique control plug to sense power increases when something like a TV or computer is turned on.  When the control outlet senses a decrease in power output or the motion sensor does not detect motion for 30 minutes, the switched outlets are powered off.  

The Sustainability Office has a limited supply of TrickleStar model 183SS-US-8XX smart powerstrips available for distribution to faculty and staff for office/lab use at OSU. The primary purpose of this distribution is to lower our campus' total energy consumption and carbon footprint. All you have to do is fill out the Online Request Form! 

Heat Pump Hot Water Heater

Air-source heat pump hot water heaters are beginning to replace our old electric resistance hot water heaters on campus. Many hot water heaters are located in mechanical rooms which contain HVAC equipment and steam pipes. The heat created by these systems makes the rooms ideal for air-source heat pump hot water heaters, because they are able to transfer the heat in the room to water which used throughout the building. Currently our office is in the process of installing a heat pump water heater in Gilmore. 

Incandescent lamp replacement

Do you have an incandescent lamp in an overhead fixture or desk lamp in your office? Like the light but hate the inefficiency? Then the Sustainability Office has an offer for you: we will provide a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) free of charge if it replaces an incandescent lamp and stays on campus. Not only do CFLs use just 25% of the energy, they also last ten times as long as incandescents, meaning fewer annoying bulb change-outs. Many of the old problems of flicker, hum, 'cold' white light and slow start times have been fixed. There are a variety of wattages to chose from, contact us today and make your lighting more efficient!

OSU is also actively changing out incandescent lamps with CFLs in common spaces such as hallways, stairwells and restrooms. The savings can be significant: by changing all the incandescent lamps in the hallways and stairwells of Milam Hall to CFLs, total energy savings are near $2,000 annually.

As well, many exit signs in buildings have been upgraded to use LEDs (light emitting diodes). LEDs use 1/25th of the energy of incandescents and are rated to last 130,000 hours, compared with 10,000 for CFLs and 1,000 for incandescents.

Your help is invaluable in locating incandescent lamps. If you see an incandescent lamp you think should be replaced, please let us know.

Outdoor lighting fine-tuning

One of the most visible signs of energy inefficiency is outdoor lighting that is on during dawn, daylight or dusk. A covered or dirty photo sensor or incorrectly set timer will keep these lights on during times they shouldn't be. We are always looking for outside lights improperly controlled.

Tell us about incorrect timing of outdoor lighting, including if a light fails at night which could create a safety issue.

Assessment

There are several ways OSU energy and water use is analyzed. Historically, outside consultants had been the primary mechanism by which analysis was accomplished. With the creation of the OSU Sustainability Office, and the increased campus focus of the OSU Energy|Efficiency Center, responsibilities and work process have changed somewhat.

Assessment Provider Systems Analyzed Available To Cost
OSU Sustainability Office Occupant-controlled systems: lighting, computers, lab equipment, etc. All, general funded buildings first priority None
OSU Energy|Efficiency Center Building systems (lighting, HVAC) and industrial equipment All Minimal
Professional Consultants Building systems (lighting, HVAC, etc) All Varies
Energy Trust or Oregon Dept. of Energy Building systems (lighting, HVAC) when part of construction Construction projects only  

Campus Night Audits

The Sustainability Office has begun looking more closely at off hours energy use in campus buildings.  Joined by students from various courses, the Office performs unannounced night audits several times each term.  During a night audit, buildings are thoroughly examined during predominantly unoccupied times for instances of potential energy waste. 

These audits measure losses from unnecessarily active electrical equipment like lighting, computers and peripherals, copiers, printers, and chargers, as well as thermal losses like open windows.  Losses are totaled and potential savings are estimated and will be made available to the public.  Data gathered during the audits can be used to assess the impact of conservation efforts, justify additional conservation projects, as well as report potentially unsafe conditions (low light levels, fire hazards, etc.).  A summary of night audit results is presented in the table below.

Term Surveyed Buildings Surveyed

Est. Annual Waste

    Lighting Computers & peripherals Copiers & Printers Other Elec. equipment
Winter 2010 Bexell, Milam, Women's Building, Wilkinson, Moreland $4,000 $11,600 $1,500 $400
Spring 2010 Bexell, Gilkey, Strand Ag, Ballard Extension, Wilkinson, Burt, Gilmore  TBD   TBD   TBD   TBD

Metering

Utility Dashboard

OSU has partnered with Lucid Design Group to provide real time utility data access to the OSU community via utility storyboards.  Utility storyboards provide a structure to transform building operations data into performance improvements that enhance sustainability and efficiency. By leveraging the real-time utility data, analytics, reports, and graphic solutions that the storyboards provide, OSU is able to:

  • Better diagnose building mechanical systems
  • Improve support for conservation awareness campaigns like electricity reduction competitions
  • Verify and justify continuing investment in energy efficiency projects
  • Improve transparency for billing and financial purposes.

If you’d like access to the analytical tools within our Lucid dashboard, please contact us.

The first phase of this project includes 28 OSU buildings as seen below or at this link. The long-term goal is to include all utilities on the storyboards for all OSU buildings. 

 

Metering Equipment

Utility metering at OSU is accomplished in several ways and includes a wide variety of technologies.  Over the past few years, and continuing in the next few, efforts are being made to standardize data collection across all utilities and improve monitoring capabilities. Primarily, the goal is to have equipment that feeds into the utility dashboard above.  This is a large undertaking but is part of strategic efforts to improve data access and troubleshooting capacity, thereby reducing utility consumption.

L&G Electricity Meter

Renewable Energy

On-site Renewable Energy

Ground Mounted Photovoltaic Arrays

Solar graphSince in 2012, 5 large ground-mounted solar electric (photovoltaic) arrays have been installed on agricultural lands operated by Oregon State University as part of “Solar by Degrees,” a large-scale photovoltaic power program coordinated by the Oregon University System.  OSU was the first to install and have operational its solar arrays. 

The five arrays cover more than twelve acres combined. Three are in Corvallis two are at OSU properties elsewhere in the state. The 35th Street site is the largest, at around six acres and 1,435 kilowatts. It can be found west of the Corvallis campus on the Campus Way bike path. The 53rd Street site is 289 kilowatts and is located adjacent to the bike path just east of the Benton County Fairgrounds. The Salmon Disease Lab site, with a capacity of 482 kilowatts, is located adjacent to Trysting Tree golf course just east of the Willamette River, off the main campus.  Check real-time monitoring of both sites and see more information.

OSU Solar Trailer

The OSU Solar Trailer is a portable device that captures and stores solar energy. Its purpose is to educate about photovoltaic (solar electric) energy technologies and provide a renewable, portable power supply for events. It was designed by OSU students as a senior project in mechanical engineering and constructed in 2007.  The Student Sustainability Initiative provided about $30,000 in project funding in addition to over $20,000 received in product donations and discounts from RJH Enterprises, Outback Power, Smith Glass, MK Battery, Wattsun, Abundant Solar, and Freebird Body and Paint.

The device provides electricity to campus and community events such as Earth Week, the Beaver Community Fair, da Vinci Days, Fall Festival, Oregon State Fair and others.  Because of its on-board battery system, the Solar Trailer can also power electrical loads at night.  Power duration for large loads is extended during the day, and most small loads can be powered indefinitely.  The batteries are the limiting factor for long duration power draws, but large temporary loads up to the circuit ratings below are no problem.  The Trailer can also be available for emergency dispatch to wherever remote power requirements may exist.

In 2012, the Solar Trailer received a major battery technology upgrade.  In 2013, the Sustainability Office and Student Sustainability Initiative took the advancements even further by contracting with local company Shift Electric Vehicles to install an on board level 2 electric vehicle smart charger.  This charger greater utilizes the Trailer's improved battery capacity and innovatively promotes more sustainable transportation.

Solar Trailer specifications:

  • 1800 watt solar array - nine Sanyo 200 watt solar modules
  • Two 3.6 kilowatt Outback grid interactive inverters capable of 7.2 kW (60 Amps @ 120 Volt or 30 Amps @ 240 Volt)
  • About 25 kilowatt hours of battery storage in an advanced lithium-ion battery pack, with a custom battery management system installed by Shift Electric Vehicles in Albany, Oregon
  • One SAE-J1772 Electric Vehicle Safety Equipment (EVSE) charging system
  • Two 20 amp 120 volt circuits feeding 4 standard 120V household outlets
  • One 30 amp 240 volt circuit powering one dryer style outlet
  • Wattsun dual axis sun tracker
  • Expandable, fold out array
  • Mechanical lift moves array into sun tracking position

OSU Solar Trailer

In June 2009, the Solar Trailer was used to charge a campus visitor's Tesla Roadster, illustrating that transportation fuels can be renewable too.

Need visible, renewable, portable energy for your event?  Fill out the Solar Trailer request form (doc). For non student fee-funded organizations such as general funded campus departments and off campus entities, fees are charged to cover labor and a vehicle needed to operate the Solar Trailer.  The fee is determined by the location of the event, the number of days required and the number of hours used for set up and tear down of the Trailer.  Please see the Fee Book for more detail, or submit a request form indicating you'd like an estimate of fees for your event.

Rooftop Solar Arrays

Student Experience Center

The Student Experience Center, the new home of the Student Sustainability Initiative, is now boasting its own array of solar panels. 

 

Kelley Engineering Center

A 2.4 kilowatt photovoltaic system was installed on the Kelley Engineering Center during its construction in 2004. While this relatively small system provides a fraction of the power this large commercial building needs, it demonstrates the feasibility and output of solar resources in the Willamette Valley.

 

Hatfield Marine Science Center

A 1.1 kilowatt array at HMSC in Newport demonstrates, renewable energy technology to visitors and reflects OSU's commitment to education in sustainable practices. HMSC has also implemented campus-wide energy conservation upgrades including the installation of an energy-efficient lighting and heating/ventilation system that resulted in a 15 percent decrease in electrical consumption.

 

Exercise Equipment

OSU is one of the first universities to harness human energy generated by workout routines and put it onto the electrical grid. Using a new technology developed by a company in St. Petersburg, Fla., called ReRev.com, LLC, OSU has retrofitted 22 elliptical exercise machines in its student funded Dixon Recreation Center. As of March 2009, this is the largest installation of its kind in the world.

The system uses two inverters to convert direct current (DC) generated in the elliptical exercise machines to alternating current (AC) used by the building's electrical system. Each machine can generate up to 400 watts with the user at a full sprint. More realistic output is expected to be 25-100 watts sustained.

The project was coordinated by the OSU Sustainability Office and the Recreational Sports Department, and funded from the OSU Student & Incidental Fees Committee, the Energy Trust of Oregon and Recreational Sports. Additional technical and logistical support was received from Pacific Power. Read more on Ecologue, the OSU sustainability blog.

 


Off-site Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Certificate Purchase

For several years, OSU purchased large amounts of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset its electricity use.  A student fee of $8.50/student/term, approved April 27, 2007 during the general election, supplied funding for this purchase between 2007 and 2010, and in 2011 OSU administration made the purchase as students elected to spend their fee money for on-site systems. Since 2012, OSU has made much smaller investments in offsite renewable energy, choosing instead to focus on development of on-site renewable resources.

Following a 2006-2007 campaign led by ASOSU Environmental Affairs, the student population approved the fee with 70% of voting students voting in favor. The campaign consisted of a fall 2006 survey revealing that 68% of students supported a fee, followed by a winter term petition collecting signatures to include a renewable energy question on the spring general election ballot. Over 1,700 students signed the petition in just a few days.

GPLAThe US Environmental Protection Agency has recognized OSU multiple times for outstanding leadership in renewable energy use. In October 2008, Andrea Norris who, as a student, led the campaign for the renewable energy fee and now works in Campus Recycling, accepted on OSU's behalf a Green Power Leadership Award in Denver, Colorado.

In 2011, OSU purchased enough renewable energy to meet nearly 100% of its electricity needs and was the 5th largest college or university purchaser of renewable energy in the nation. It was also designated the PAC-12 Conference Champion in renewable energy purchases and a member of the Green Power Leadership Club.  The source of OSU's renewable energy is wind power.  All OSU RECs are Green-e certified. For 2012, OSU made a smaller purchase offsetting about 10% of total electricity use.

Food

The recources that go into producing, transporting and disposing of food are staggering. For example, many fruits and vegetables travel thousands of miles to reach our plate, using significant resources along the way. OSU strives to reduce the impacts of our food system, while still providing wholesome and quality food at a reasonable price.

On Campus

OSU Food Working Group

In 2014, University Housing and Dining Services initiated the OSU Sustainable Food Working Group. The Group's mission is to collaborate with academic, operational, student groups to establish sustainability goals and practices that are aligned with the OSU strategic plan's "3 healthies" (economy , people, planet) and with Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education guidelines.

Campus Food Map

Developed by the OSU Sustainable Food Working Group, the OSU Food Map (embedded below) is a resource for students and the campus community that clearly shows what types of food options are available where in our community. The map is constantly evolving with the food options on campus. If there is anything you would like to share your suggestions feel free to email us!
Click the flyout menu button in the top left corner to see the options!

 

University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) 

University Housing and Dining Services is committed to environmental practices that protect and preserve our communities resources.

Serving over 2 million meals each year, Dining Services' impacts on the environment are significant. As a result, UHDS has implemented more sustainable practices throughout their department. Here are some highlights:

  • Approximately 10-20% of the food and beverage budget is spent on locally-sourced products.
  • Numerous local and organic products, as well as vegetarian and vegan options, are available at any dining center and market.
  • Grass-fed beef is available at Calabaloo's restaurants.
  • Leftover, usable food is donated to the Linn-Benton Food Share.
  • UHDS is a member of the Food Alliance, an organization which promotes environmental and social responsibility for the food system.
  • Waste cooking oil is reused for biodiesel.

OSU Catering

As a division of UHDS, OSU catering also attempts to source its ingredients from local and organic distributors. Catering menus can be customized to include local and organic selections.

To see more of what UHDS is doing, see their sustainability website.

OSU Organic Growers Club

An all-volunteer, student-run organic farm uses ~2 acres to provide educational and social opportunities for anyone wanting to learn about agriculture. During the summer months, the Organic Growers sell their bounty in the ALS foyer every Friday from 8 AM-5 PM. Proceeds from the sale support summer interns, educational opportunities for Growers, farm maintenance, and help philanthropic organizations around town.

Composting @ OSU

Kitchen scraps and leftovers (pre- and post-consumer) from the dining centers form a sizeable portion of OSU's waste stream and the majority of composted material at OSU. This diverts tons of waste from the landfill and provides a feedstock for the Pacific Region Compost facility, run by Republic Services. Additionally the OSU Organic Growers Club makes and uses compost at their farm on Highway 34.


Off Campus

Corvallis Farmer's Market

Open for business every Saturday at the Riverfront and Wednesdays at the Benton County Fair grounds, the Corvallis Farmer's Market provides local produce, eggs, meat, baked good, crafts and more from mid-April till mid-November. Buying directly from farmers supports local jobs and our local economy and reduces the resources used for transport and packaging.

Corvallis Restaurants

Four Corvallis restaurants have undertaken the Oregon Natural Step process to become more sustainable. They are: Bomb's Away Café, Nearly Normal's Gonzo Cuisine, Fireworks (formally Intaba's Kitchen) and Sunnyside Up.

Numerous other restaurants use locally-sourced and organic ingredients.

Green Building

 

While the differences in scale of remodeling an office and constructing a new building are vast, the process remains relatively unchanged. Bids are made, contracts are awarded and construction standards are followed. This page will reveal the construction process and the standards behind them.

Construction Process

The Facilities Services Design and Construction team created a workflow diagram outlining their construction process. While smaller projects may not be subject to the level of oversight listed here, the general process is similar. The earlier that green building and sustainability goals are brought into the process, the more likely it is that these objectives will be realized.

Construction Standards

The centralized source for construction standards applied to campus is the Facilities Services Design Criteria. These criteria should be consulted before a project, of any size, is intitiated. Below are criteria highlights for commonly-occuring projects on campus.

The Department of Administrative Services also plays a role in new building construction. In November 2004, DAS issued updated Sustainable Facilities Standards and Guidelines (pdf). These guidelines require all new construction and renovation of state buildings to meet US Green Building Council's LEED Silver equivalents.

Carpet and Floor Coverings

  • Low VOC adhesives will be used for flooring installation.
  • Products manufactured overseas shall be tested by OSU Environmental Health & Safety for asbestos prior to installation.
  • Vinyl composition tile or linoleum (Marmoleum preferred) are to be used in all public areas on campus.
  • Carpet tiles are to be used where carpet is necessary and/or requested.

For more information on carpet and floor coverings, please contact the Sustainability Office.

Paint

  • All paint must be lead-free.
  • All products must conform to OSHA and ANSI specifications.
  • There are distinct codes for the paint that colors our campus orange and black; see the design criteria for the specifics.

Completed Construction

Like much of the construction industry, OSU relies on green building standards like US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program to employ lower impact development. LEED equivalent is a requirement at OSU. All buildings built at OSU must be built to a LEED silver equivalent and all renovations must be built to at least a LEED certified equivalent. 

Building Name

LEED Certification*

Year Constructed/Renovated

Gross Square Ft.

Strand Agricultural Hall Certified* 2015 95,989
Learning Innovation Center (LInC) Gold (pending) 2015 119,129
Student Experience Center Gold (pending) 2015 84,507
Austin Hall Silver* 2014 106,966
Tebeau Hall Gold* 2014 68,274
Basketball Practice Facility (addition to Sports Performance) Silver* 2013 76,339
Native American Longhouse Silver* 2012

3,923

Beth Ray Center for Academic Support Silver* 2012 34,211
Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility Silver* 2012 19,799
Furman Hall Silver* 2011 38,603
Hallie Ford Center Silver* 2011 27,262
International Living-Learning Center Gold* 2011 152,245
McAlexander Fieldhouse Gold* 2011 61,824**
Energy Center Platinum 2010 32,419
Linus Pauling Science Center Silver* 2010 106,953
Reed Lodge   Silver* 2010 13,299
Heckart Lodge  Silver* 2009 14,197
Kearney Hall  Gold 2009 31,952
Sports Performance Center  Silver* 2008 31,593
Magruder Hall-Large Animal Hospital  Silver* 2008 131,384**
Kelly Engineering Center
Gold  2005 152,166
Reser Stadium  None - see fact sheet 2005 84,163**
Weatherford Hall Certified 2004 105,090

*or equivalent to LEED certification

**square footages may include space not subject to LEED or LEED equivalence listed


Learning Innovation Center

 

Opened in Fall 2015, OSU's newest classroom building is a four-story, technology-rich learning environment, hosting over 2,300 general purpose classroom seats in 14 unique state-of-the-art classrooms including arena- and parliament-style classrooms, a variety collaborative learning environments, and 640 seats of informal learning space distributed around the building.

Energy Center


 

Outdoor Recreation Complex

The Outdoor Recreation Complex was finished by Homecoming 2010 and is an expansive updated section of campus featuring synthetic turf fields, lighting, a parklike setting, and a new event space. It also includes a new jogging track and will include the construction of new tennis courts.

It is also a more sustainable space because of the planting of more than 60 trees on the site and the use of the synthetic turf will eliminate the need to to watering or use chemicals and fertilizers. As an outdoor facility, the project meets all University and City requirements for stormwater quality and detention. The lighting, described more fully below, is specified meet the “dark skies” requirements and provide energy savings measures. The pavilion, restrooms, and storage building incorporates daylighting, occupancy sensors, low-flow fixtures, and solar hot water features. Selected materials and furnishings are considered on a sustainable basis, including use of certified woods in the benches and recycled content within the synthetic turf.

The image below refreshes every minute.

Outdoor Recreation Complex


OSU Energy Center

OSU's 1920s era heat plant provided steam to most campus buildings until 2009 when the new OSU Energy Center went online, producing steam and electricity to efficiently heat and power OSU's main campus. This co-generating, or combined heat and power (CHP), technology greatly increases efficiencies by utilizing waste heat from the electrical generation process.  This "waste" heat it utilized to heat campus buildings.  Additionally, the close proximity of the electricity generating source to electrical loads on campus means transmission line losses are greatly reduced, improving overall efficiency of the electrical grid and postponing the electric utility company's need for increased capacity.

Energy Center systems are configured for future use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and methane. CHP facilities are becoming more widely adopted because of high efficiency and enhanced reliability. This facility will reduce OSU's emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), and greenhouse gases.

Additional benefits of this project include:

  • Reduced air emissions, including an estimated 38% reduction in greenhouse gases
  • Reduced water consumption through rainwater capture and by modernizing systems
  • Lower transmission losses by generating about 50% of OSU's electricity on site
  • Partial power to campus in the event of a power grid outage

The Energy Center building was designed to LEED green building standards, and in January 2011 received a Platinum rating from US Green Building Council.

Energy Center


Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Families

The 18,000 square-foot Hallie Ford Center was constructed for the College of Healthy and Human Sciences in 2011 and 2012. It is to become a hallmark of campus and will feature collaboration among many disciplines. The ground floor includes a welcoming common area, office of the endowed director of the Center, a family style living area, conference room, and kitchen. Offices for Research Core directors and others are located on the second floor interspersed with common areas conducive to spontaneous conversation and small meetings. 

Hallie Ford Center

Follow this link to watch the time lapse construction video.


Linus Pauling Science Center

The $62.5 million, 105,000-square-foot facility broke ground in September 2009 and held its grand opening in October 2011. It is built to meet LEED Silver requirements and includes the extensive utilization of natural light, heat recovery and use some solar equipment. It will house the Linus Pauling Institute and chemists from the College of Science, and contain classroom and laboratory space for students and researchers studying chemistry, biology, and life sciences.

Linus Pauling Science Center

Follow this link to watch the time lapse construction video.


Kearney Hall

Built in 1899, Kearney - formerly Apperson - Hall underwent a $12 million renovation in 2007 and 2008. Kearney is registered for and expected to achieve a LEED Gold rating by the US Green Building Council. Attempting to preserve its historical significance as well as reduce the need for new materials, the granite and sandstone shell remained almost completely intact during the extensive renovation. Exposed walls and ceilings will allow the building to be used as a 'living classroom' for generations of new engineers. Kearney will aide the College of Engineering in its quest to be one of the top-25 engineering schools in the nation.

Notable features of Kearney Hall include:

  • Use of natural light in classrooms, offices and common spaces to reduce dependency on lighting systems
  • Reuse of building materials for new construction
  • Extensive use of local and recycled-content construction materials

See more information from the College Planning & Management article.

 

 


Kelley Engineering Center

The Kelley Engineering Center, which opened the summer of 2005, is the physical centerpiece of the OSU College of Engineering drive to become one of the nation's top-25 engineering programs. The building's design is centered on communication, innovation and responsible environmental design.

Kelley Engineering Center is certified LEED Gold from U.S. Green Building Council, making it the “greenest” academic engineering building in United States. The four-story, 153,000-sq.ft., $45 million building features extensive sustainable "green" design elements, used to educate students and others about sustainability and renewable energy issues.

See a time lapse movie of the building's construction and read the complete fact sheet (Word document)


Reser Stadium Expansion

The $80 million Reser Stadium renovation, prior to the 2005 season, added and expanded a new east side section. The structure includes numerous state-of-the-art amenities, including the spacious Club and Loge levels.

This project, while not LEED certified, took sustainability into consideration in many respects. Some highlights include:

  • An Energy Star compliant white roof
  • Energy consumption 32% lower than Oregon code
  • Air conditioning economizers that use fresh air when outside temperatures are below 72 degrees F.
  • Lighting controlled by occupancy sensors
  • Minimum 35% local construction materials
  • Extensive use of reclaimed wood products
  • Recycled material in the plastic seating and field turf

Check out the complete list on the fact sheet and watch the renovation time lapse.


Weatherford Hall

Originally constructed in 1928 then closed in 1994, Weatherford Hall is a landmark building that reopened in 2004 after an extensive historic renovation. The LEED-registered remodel is home to one of the first residential colleges on the west coast. It is a collaborative effort of the College of Business, the College of Engineering, and University Housing and Dining Services.

Weatherford Hall

 


Magruder Hall

Constructed in 1979, Magruder Hall has undergone a series of renovations in recent years.

In 2004, the 28,060 square foot Small Animal Hospital Addition was completed, which added a two story hospital wing and remodeled a portion of the original building.

In spring 2008, the Large Animal Hospital Addition was completed, adding over 25,000 square feet of space. The Large Animal Hospital Addition was required to participate in the Oregon Department of Energy State Energy Efficiency Design (SEED) program. Final SEED analysis showed the building will use 25% less energy than a building built to code. The State of Oregon's LEED Silver equivalency requirements, based on U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System, resulted in a building that includes more sustainable features like:

  • Use of low-emission adhesives, carpets and composite woods
  • Daylight reaching 75% of all spaces
  • Over 20% of construction materials manufactured locally or regionally
  • At least 75% of construction waste diverted from the landfill, either to be salvaged or recycled
  • Bicycle storage and changing rooms for building occupants
  • An estimated 30% reduction in water use compared to code requirements
  • At least 50% of wood-based materials from sustainably-managed forests

For more information, see the Large Animal Hospital Addition Sustainability Report.


 McAlexander Field House

This recently completed fieldhouse renovation showcases numerous features of sustainability. The project is well within equivalency to LEED Gold, with 74 out of 110 possible points. For more information, see McAlexander's LEED Scorecard.

Additionally, back in the early winter of 2009, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) allowed the use of 2009 LEED CI (for Commercial Interiors) to document this project, rather than the out-of-date LEED 2.0 NC (for New Construction). McAlexander was the first DAS project in the state to use this standard.

The McAlexander project netted $4,300 in incentives back to OSU from the state’s Energy Trust initiative, mostly for energy efficient lighting, including the first installation of LED fixtures as a standard, non-iconic lighting selection on a Yost Grube Hall Architecture (YGH) project.  Also used were high efficiency, multi-switchable, 8-lamp fluorescent high bay fixtures for court and turf areas.  In response to lessons-learned, lighting for the climbing wall resorted to standard inexpensively-lamped 2-foot and 4-foot linear fluorescents, allowing easy reconfiguration in future as needed.

McAlexander Fieldhouse

STATE ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN (SEED)

The SEED Report, prepared as required by DAS, shows a 51% improvement over code requirements for fan motors and 49% improvement over code for power to lighting.  Cooling systems added for the classroom and office will save 22% over code requirements.  While improving indoor air quality through the introduction of fresh air into the space, the heat recovery ventilator is expected to recover over 237,000 BTUS per winter heating season.  Water efficient fixtures result in an expected 37% savings in water use.  While an overall lighting calculation was not generated for the alternate skylight, the ability to include this component in the final contract will allow substantial avoidance of electric lighting for much of the year.

OTHER NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS FOR MCALEXANDER FIELD HOUSE:

  • Improved fire separation from ROTC
  • New fire suppression and digital fire alarm systems to the field house portion of the building
  • Improved accessibility at all entries
  • Full-time staff accommodations for greatly improved oversight, safety and security
  • New, universal restroom facilities and water stations
  • New classroom and office areas
  • Added bicycle parking, covered entry and new handicap parking
  • Reintroduced windows and added skylight for daylighting and natural ventilation
  • Improved facility for athletic baseball practice with separate access
  • Second, large climbing wall at OSU, a game changer in recreation, physical education and skills training
  • Improved ball court surfaces and fully-netted indoor turf area
  • New, secure storage areas
  • Existing steam heat system converted to direct digital control (DDC)

This successful project will serve the students at OSU well for generations to come.  The users, project managers, contractors, designers and the City all came together to meet the challenges inherent in a century old building that has seen a wide variety of functions over the years.


William Tebeau Hall

The New Student Residence is a five story, 85,000 square foot residence hall located on the east side of campus, directly south of Wilson Hall. The building, which opened in Fall 2014, consists mainly of three bedroom suites. Each suite consists of three double occupancy bedrooms with a small common area and shared bathroom.Overall, the new residence hall houses over 300 students. The building is named after the first black male graduate from the University, William Tebeau.

William Tebeau Hall

 

 

 


Samaritan Sports Medicine Institute 

The Samaritan Sports Medicine Institute (SSMI), which opened in December 2014, is an 18,000-square-foot clinical sports medicine facility. It is located on a portion of the existing Reser Stadium Parking Lot on the east side of 30th Street, just north of Oak Creek. The facility provides sports medicine services to OSU student athletes primarily, but it also serves OSU personnel and the broader community. In addition to providing sports medicine services, the operating agreement with the service provider is anticipated to identify educational opportunities for OSU students, particularly for those in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Services. Opportunities for collaboration between OSU faculty and sports medicine clinicians are also likely.

 


Student Experience Center

Completed in Spring of 2015, the Student Experience Center is a four story, 87,900 square foot building with a full basement located on the corner of Jefferson Way and Waldo Place. The building is designed to house multiple student organizations including the student government offices. The basement houses the craft center and building services. Floors 1 to 3 have multiple suites for the student offices. Student media, including the radio and television stations is located on the fourth floor. In conjunction with the building, a covered plaza was also built between the Memorial Union and the Student Experience Center.

Student Experience Center

You can learn more about the SEC here

 


Asian & Pacific Cultural Center 

The Asian & Pacific Cultural Center celebrated its grand opening in April 2015. The 3,500-square foot center, located just east of Austin Hall, cost $2.4 million to complete. The new building was designed by Jones & Jones Architecture of Seattle, the designer of the other three cultural centers — the Eena Haws Native American Longhouse, the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez (both now open), and the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center which was also just completed in spring of 2015. 

The building's exterior has characteristics of housing styles found in some of the regions represented by the cultural center.Like the other cultural centers, the new Asian & Pacific Center also includes a gathering hall, a student lounge, a study area and offices as well as a kitchen and quiet space. More information is available here.

 


Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center

Like the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center, the BCC also opened in April 2015. The center is located on Monroe Street, near the intersection of 25th Street. Construction began after the BCC moved out of the old building on Monroe Street. The center’s new building was designed by the Seattle architectural firm of Jones & Jones, which has designed all of OSU’s new cultural center buildings.

The original Black Student Union Cultural Center was formed at OSU in 1975 and later renamed the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center after the first director of the Educational Opportunities Program, which originally helped increase recruitment and retention of black students. The $2.4 million, one-story, 3,500-square-foot building features a circular lounge and exterior brick patterns based on Yoruba textiles known as Aso Oke, from Nigeria. More information about the BCC can be found here

Current Construction Projects

 

 

Classroom Building

The 120,000 square foot Classroom building will create over 2,300 classroom seats in 15 classrooms as well as over 600 outside of the classroom collaboration and study spaces to meet OSU’s growth. The learning spaces will introduce new styles of collaboration and student participation including Parliament and “In-The-Round” classroom designs. With stage lecture-style classes on the decline and online course options on the rise, John Gremmels, project manager at OSU, said it is essential to offer the best and latest in-classroom options for students. 

Located near the new Austin Hall, he buildings will be open for Fall term 2015. The project overall costs around $65 million, around half of which was funded by the state. Work on the classroom building’s interior will begin around Oct. 15 and the building will offer more than 2,100 classroom seats for students. There will be no building in the world like this.

 

 


Memorial Union Renovations 

The Memorial Union East Wing project involves the renovation of the old OSU Book Store space. The MU building services, offices and shops will be located in the basement. The ground floor will house a multipurpose room, lounge area and the cultural kitchen. The mezzanine level will have a new event space and reception area. In addition to these improvements new and renovated restrooms are being constructed along with multiple ADA upgrades to the building.

The remodel is scheduled to be finished Summer of 2014. 

 

Maintenance

All maintenance efforts cannot be fully described here, but in general as upgrades occur, higher efficiency equipment and sustainable principles are applied in many cases as part of daily work. To report a maintenance need or request service, please contact the Work Coordination Center at 737-2969.

Memorial Union

The MU has taken a wide variety of steps to be greener, including energy conservation, food waste management, and many other things. For more information, contact Sid Cooper.

                                                                                                                                     

Green Cleaning and Custodial

Until summer 2008, Aramark had been OSU's contracted custodial service. They predominantly used environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. With the new custodial contractor, GCA, some of these practices remain the same, but check this site for more information in the near future. Past efforts include:

  • reducing everyday cleaning chemicals from 7 to the 3: an all purpose cleaner, a sanitizer, and a neutral floor cleaner
  • using portion control dispensers and new cleansing and rolling equipment to reduce chemical use, improve resource efficiency and worker safety while reducing cost and spillage
  • converting to a washable microfiber flat mop, eliminating the 50 lb. bucket and reducing wastewater, cleaning solutions and bacteria substrate
  • using vacuum units Green Seal Certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute
Rather than traditional floor wax, Aramark applied a polymer based finish which, with proper maintenance, does not need seasonal stripping and reapplication. Wax strippers are very caustic and when mixed with old finish, form undesirable waste products. A less toxic product can be used to routinely maintain the floor.

Paint Shop Uses The Natural Step Framework

The Oregon Natural Step Network, working directly with the Paint Shop crew, completed a Natural Step (TNS) back-casting exercise in April 2005 to formulate a strategic plan for the Shop. The plan provides specific long-term planning and identifies and ranks short-term actions. Check the link above for more detail.

Natural Features

Oak Creek Restoration

OSU has embarked on several focused efforts to reduce its impact on Oak Creek, one of the area's most significant natural features. The two primary areas of concentration are the main campus (30th St. to 35th St. reach) and the Department of Animal Sciences' livestock facilities (generally west of the OSU Dairy Center).

Main Campus

Although recent reports have rated riparian functions in the 30th to 35th St. reach as "nearly fully functioning" to "fully functioning", there are improvements still to be made including:

  • Removing invasive species like Himalayan blackberry and English ivy
  • Reforesting certain areas of the corridor
  • Reconnecting the floodplain
  • Appropriately treating and buffering stormwater discharge into the creek

With these improvements and others, study opportunities abound. Study zones along the creek can be designated for students to evaluate various restoration and protection methods, study riparian function and monitor stream improvements.

Livestock Facilities

OSU's Dept. of Animal Sciences recently announced the start of a yearlong project to restore and protect areas of the creek that wind through livestock facilities. Supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the project will create wildlife habitat and riparian buffers along more than five miles of streams that include Oak Creek and its tributaries.

Oak Creek

Animal facilities include the horse, sheep, swine, and dairy centers with plans to expand it into Soap and Berry Creek ranches and protect a different water system there. The properties are diverse and plans differ according to needs but the principals are the same:

  • Selectively clear understory to remove undesirable species while keeping as many natives as possible.
  • Build fences to keep livestock out of the waterways.
  • Plant oak and ash species (22,000 planned).
  • Provide continued maintenance by keeping noxious weeds and invasives controlled and irrigating trees during establishment.
  • Where livestock can no longer access the creek for drinking water, watering sites will be established.
  • In some places new stream crossings must be established. Old crossings are no longer usable because they are included in the buffer.

In total, the first phase of the project completed by summer 2009 will protect about 140 acres by installing new fences or mending current ones.

There have also been several past studies of Oak Creek: IWW information; F&W information. To get involved, contact Brandon Trelstad at 541-737-3307.

People's Park

Making good on a promise made to students in 2002, construction has begun on the long-awaited People's Park!  Intended as a contemplative, quiet space set aside within the core of campus, People's Park demonstrates sustainable practices in landscaping.   

Grounds: Landscape and Hardscape Maintenance

The OSU Landscape Shop is responsible for maintaining the grounds of the OSU campus. This includes lawns, sidewalks, trees, shrubs, and other open areas on the 423 acre main campus.

For the last six years, OSU has been awarded "Tree Campus USA" status by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Oregon Department of Forestry. This program recognizes college campuses for their excellence in tree planting, care, and stewardship.

The Oregon State main campus has over 5,000 cataloged trees (not including the many trees in the riparian corridor along Oak Creek and the agriculture lands).

The tallest tree at OSU is 140 feet tall,the largest trunk diameter is nearly 8 feet, and the largest canopy on our campus is over 100 feet wide. 

Among our thousands of trees are several state and locally recognized Heritage trees.  Heritage trees are described as trees that are honored for their unique size, age, historical, or horticultural significance. Some noticeable Heritage trees on the OSU campus include:

  • A giant Oregon White Oak tree in front of Magruder Hall
  • A Douglas Fir, also known as "The Moon Tree" due to its travels with Apollo 14 before being planted by Peavy Hall (its story is listed on a plaque along the sidewalk)
  • A Dawn Redwood – a tree long thought to be extinct as it had only been found in the fossil record until its rediscovery in a valley in central China in the 1940’s (OSU was granted one of the seedlings from this early find and so has one of the largest trees around) 
 

 

 

 

Oregon White Oak Tree
The Moon Tree

 

 

OSU landscapers have taken many steps to reduce their operation's impact on the environment:

  • Incorporating native and/or drought tolerant plants into landscaped areas
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawns to return nutrients
  • Obtain annual Oregon Dept. of Agriculture training to maintain pesticide best practices and application licenses
  • Maintain the campus to different standards based on need (i.e., MU quad vs. low profile areas)
  • Use of Maxi-com computerized irrigation system with weather-based watering to conserve water
  • Minimal use of only slow release fertilizers to avoid fertilizer run off
  • On-campus handling and chipping of woody debris and compostable material
  • Application as groundcover of mulch and wood chips to reduce watering and weeding needs
  • Chipping and recycling all pruning and storm damaged trees back into mulch for the landscape plantings on campus

In addition to the list above, the grounds crew maintains pedestrian and bicyclist safety by controlling sidewalk alignment and moss growth.

 

People's Park

People's Park

In 1972, students lobbied OSU administration to create a park space at the site of the recently demolished administration building. Beginning in 2002, the construction of Kelley Engineering Center prompted the relocation of the park to its current location just west of Gilkey Hall.

Construction began in October 2010 with the hardscape features completed that month.  Planting took place in the spring and was completed in summer of 2011.

PPark

ppark2

ppark3

In the fall of 2011, artist Patrick Dougherty was hired to create one of his renowned stickwork sculptures that have been installed all over the world. Titled "Pomp and Circumstance," the project was completed in October and has brought natural charm and magnificence to the park ever since.

stickwork

stickwork2

Stickwork Sculpture - Finished

The Student Sustainability Initiative in 2007 funded a landscape plan (below) that incorporated input from students and community members gathered between 2002 and 2007, and also built on the wishes of students since 1972. Recurring themes have influenced the park's design:

  • Creating a safe, but set-aside place for quiet contemplation.
  • Specifying and locating plants that will look good year-round but have low irrigation requirements.
  • Adding low-key, informative markers so that park visitors learn how sustainable landscapes can also be beautiful.
  • Choosing plants that that attract birds, butterflies and beneficial insects so that pesticides will not be needed.
  • Specifying local construction materials and their sources.

Site Plan

Purchasing

In every step of a product's life, from the harvesting of raw materials to transport to disposal, there are impacts on the environment and society. Before beginning the purchasing process, consider the following questions:

 

  • First and foremost: Is the purchase of this product necessary?
  • From what is the product made? How are these materials harvested?
  • Where is the product made? Who makes it? In what conditions is it manufactured?
  • How long will this product last?
  • How far does it travel to reach the consumer?
  • How much energy or materials does it use during its operable life?
  • How is it disposed of?

 

Purchasing Practices

Green Cleaning

As OSU's primary cleaning servies provider, GCA Services Group has made a strong commitment to purchasing Green Seal or EcoLogo Products.  According to GCA Cleaning Services:  

"GCA remains at the forefront of green cleaning development by tailoring sustainable, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective programs to meet the specific demands of each of its clients.  GCA's proprietary Custom Green program is the model of the industry and offers a holistic approach to develop the most effective cleaning methods that protect occupant health and safety, while reducing harmful impacts on the environment." 

GCA uses a management information system known as GCAware. This is used by operations managers to order supplies and equipment needed to provide contract services to customers.  Within GCAware is a “Standard Products List” that shows the approved supplies and equipment that can be used within the company.  These supplies are screened for cost, customer satisfaction value, and various departmental approvals such as Operations, Risk Management, and Training.  Effective 03/01/2007, the Green Seal program was added to GCAware.

Purchasing Guides

OSU Procurement and Contract Services (PaCS)

As the purchasing agency for OSU, PaCS has the authority to negotiate leases, supply contracts and procure services. By having a single entity perform these tasks, purchasing is simplified and the quality of product and services received is increased.

The PaCS Essentials is a detailed yet concise reference guide to the purchasing and contracting process.

The PaCS Manual contains all the information you'll need to navigate the procurement process. Sustainability in general procurement and in construction contracts are mentioned specifically.

Chinook Book

Chinook Book is a mobile app where customers are able to explore local businesses while using money saving coupons. Chinook Book selects businesses based on their ability to do business in a connected way. Chinook book is free to anyone with an Oreogn State email.

City of Portland Sustainable Procurement Guide

This guide illustrates the City of Roses' purchasing policy and its emphasis on sustainability.

Buying Green Handbook

Published by the European Commission, this handbook attempts to guide consumers so that the power of purchase is used for environmental and social good.

When purchasing new computer equipment or appliances, consider EPEAT™ and ENERGY STAR-certified products. These products are verified to be more energy-efficient that their peers. In the case of EPEAT™, other environmental criteria like heavy metals, predicted lifetime of product, disposal and packaging are also examined.

Buy Green

This user-friendly guide helps to get the consumer started on making smart consumption choices.

 

OSU Purchasing and STARS

If you want to see how well Oregon State's purchasing habits translate into our STARS rating, you can read about it hereSTARS is a set of peer reviewed, standardized indicators that help measure, and therefore manage, sustainability efforts within higher education institutions. It is a is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability, developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with broad participation from the higher education community. 

Student Groups

Oregon State Divestment Campaign 

Interested in seeing OSU invest in environmentally responsible energy sources? The student-led Divestment campaign here at OSU is promoting just that. You can learn more about their cause here and on their Facebook page. 

 

Recycling

Transportation

EV Charging

EV Charging at OSU Banner

(Click image for enlarged map)

OSU has 21 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on campus. We have two different types of chargers. There are 18 BlinkNetwork Level 2 EV chargers and 3 ChargePoint Level 2 EV Charger. A membership card from the respective company is required in order to use their units. 

For a membership to use the Blink units, click HERE.
For a membership to use the ChargePoint unit, click HERE.

All of the chargers are 208/240V Level 2 chargers utilize a SAE J1772 connector which is the industry standard and most widely compatible connector used for EV charging in the United States. 

*ChargePoint stations are owned an operated by OSU so they currently have no fee associated with charging, but Blink stations are partially owned by Blink so there is a fee to charge. To learn more about Blink charging rates click HERE.

If you expereince difficulties with inoperable systems please contact either the respective company Blink / Chargepoint or the OSU Sustainability Office.


The Student Experience Center parking lot has one Blink charger that can charge at 120V. An active Disabled Person Parking Permit is required for this spot as well as a C-zone commuter parking permit from Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm daily.


The Austin/Fairbanks Hall parking lot has one Blink charger and two ChargePoint chargers that can charge at both 120V and 208/240V capacities. An A-zone commuter parking permit is required in the Austin/Fairbanks Hall parking lot from Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm daily. 


Linus Pauling EV

The Linus Pauling Science Center (LPSC) parking lot has two Blink chargers and one ChargePoint charger that can charge at both 120V and 208/240V capacities. An A-zone commuter parking permit is required in the Linus Pauling parking lot from Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm daily.  


Jefferson St EV

The 15th and Jefferson location has two Blink chargers that are available for campus visitors. An A-zone commuter parking permit is required in the Linus Pauling parking lot from Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm daily.


Parking Garage EV

The Parking Garage has six Blink chargers that are available for students, staff, and visitors. A B or A-zone commuter parking permit is required in the Linus Pauling parking lot from Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm daily.. They are located on the first floor, in sections 1B and 1D. For vehicles without permits, there are Pay & Display stations located on the southern end of floors 1-4, near the elevator lobbies.


Reser EV

The Reser Stadium parking lot has six Blink chargers that are available for students, staff, and visitors. A parking permit from any zone is required in the Reser Stadium parking lot from Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm daily. For vehicles without permits, there are Pay & Display stations located at the north and south ends of the parking lot. Be advised, the charging stations in the Reser Stadium parking lot are not available during OSU home football games.


For more information about parking permits please visit the Parking Services website.

There are a number of EV charging stations around Corvallis. For a comprehensive list of all these chargers and their availability please check out PlugShare.

Water

Water is one of the most important resources on our planet. Because of increased demand, the amount of water available to society is decreasing. Significant resources are used to distribute and treat our water. For these reasons, water should be conserved whenever possible.

Willamette River, source of Most of Corvallis' water

Water is extremely mobile. Through its complicated cycle, water moves locally, regionally and globally. During this time, it can be exposed to many pollutants and contaminants. The effects of global climate change are expected to have significant effects on the water cycle.

The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, is the most important piece of legislation regarding water issues. During the year it was passed, only 36% of our lakes and rivers were fit for swimming and fishing. Today, nearly 60% are suitable for these activities, according to the EPA.

Water in Corvallis

Water is treated and distributed by the City of Corvallis. OSU receives all of its treated water from the City. The City processes almost 3 billion gallons of drinking water each year. In Corvallis, we average around 50 inches of precipitation annually, according to the Oregon Climate Service.

Water at OSU

Oak Creek, OSU's main waterway, has its headwaters in the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest and winds through residential, agricultural and commercial areas before emptying into the Mary's River, which eventually joins with the Willamette River.

In fiscal year 2010, OSU used over 230 million gallons of treated water.  Expenses related to water (both supply and sewer) totaled nearly $1.5 million during that period.

OSU laboratories feature Consolidated Sterilizers equipped with WaterEco® conservation systems that save thousands of gallons of water each year, help meet federal and state water consumption laws, and contribute towards LEED certification. 8 autoclaves were installed around Oregon State campus in 2013-14. With the WaterEco conservation system implemented at various locations around the campus, an average of 90,000 gallons of water is saved per year per autoclave.

Rainwater Resource Map & Brochure

Click on the map to access the Rainwater Resource brochure!

Stormwater Management

Stormwater is water that does not permeate the ground but instead runs over impermeable surfaces like roofs, parking lots, and streets, picking up pollutants and debris before finally entering the storm sewer system.  Much of this untreated water evenetually enters creeks, streams and rivers.  The table below shows stormwater management technologies, their purpose and where they are in use on the OSU campus

Stormwater Management Technology or Device Purpose Where in use

Stone Swales

Reduce stormwater velocity, filter pollutants and debris, allow for infiltration, increase biodiversity and enhance habitat, mitigate volume of water entering storm sewer system Reser Stadium parking lot (SW corner) and elsewhere
Bio/vegetated swales  Reduce stormwater velocity, filter pollutants and debris, allow for infiltration, increase biodiversity and enhance habitat, mitigate volume of water entering storm sewer system SW corner of 30th & Washington Way and elsewhere
Rainwater collection & reuse  Divert rainwater for use in toilet flushing Kelley Engineering Center
Rainwater retention Filter pollutants and debris, allow for infiltration, increase biodiversity and enhance habitat, mitigate volume of water entering storm sewer system Kearney Hall and Hallie Ford Center
Permeable hardscapes Allow for infiltration People's Park, newly constructed (in 2010) parking lots in SW corner of 11th & Washington Ave
Filter manhole Filter pollutants and debris Numerous
Detention manhole Mitigate volume of water entering storm sewer system Numerous
Green Roof Filter pollutants and debris, increase biodiversity and enhance habitat, mitigate volume of water entering storm sewer system, provide insulation, aesthetic benefits Behind Ag. Life Sciences on tool shed
Rain Garden Filter pollutants and debris, increase biodiversity and enhance habitat, mitigate volume of water entering storm sewer system, allow for infiltration None currently; planned for west side of Gilmore Hall

The City of Corvallis has stringent regulations and guidelines related to stormwater. 

A recent assessment on our campus's stormwater quality was done by OSU students. Results showed high levels of zinc and nitrate and acceptable levels of turbidity and conductivity. Analysis to OSU stormwater is important because it can help to improve the quality of the creek that it flows into (Oak Creek). The analysis also provides a basis to help OSU eventually become stormwater indpendent, meaning that we can reuse and treat the water on campus. To view the stormwater quality assessment in detail, you can view the results here.

Water Conservation

Conserving water is the easiest and most efficient way to increase its availability. Check out this page to see how you can conserve water at home.

OSU Landscaping uses water-conserving techniques wher ever possible. These techniques include:

  • Watering during the cooler parts of the day (morning and late evening)
  • Utilizing mulch and ground covers to slow the rate of evaporation
  • Use of Maxi-com computerized irrigation system with weather-based watering

More about OSU Landscaping.

If you notice problems with the irrigation system (incorrectly timed or positioned heads, leaks, wet spots, etc.) please contact us.

Planning, Policy & Assessment

Committees | Planning | Policies

Committees and Advisory Groups

Sustainability Advisory Council

Formed in fall 2011, the Sustainability Advisory Council advises the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the OSU Sustainability Office on a number of sustainability issues.  Committee members represent the major divisions of the institution including academics, student engagement, operations and outreach/engagement.

Alternative Transportation Advisory Committee

ATAC advises Oregon State University on expanding the use of alternative transportation. It also assists with safety education, and addresses other alternative transportation issues. The goals of the committee include promoting biking, walking, carpooling and public transit as means to get to and from campus.  ATAC has developed the OSU Bike Plan

Campus Planning Committee

The CPC reviews proposals for new construction, significant remodeling, and renovation projects that visually alter the exterior appearance of the campus. The CPC is comprised of members from OSU, the City of Corvallis and the Corvallis community.

Faculty Senate

At its November 11, 2004 meeting, the OSU Faculty Senate adopted the following statement:

Sustainability at Oregon State University
Oregon State University (OSU) honors the commitments made by the Governor of the State of Oregon, state agencies, and many of Oregon’s companies and communities to develop sustainable solutions that balance economic, environmental, and community needs while building opportunities for future generations to meet their own needs. As the state’s land, sea, and space-grant university, OSU is ready to support and lead both public and private sector organizations to find sustainable approaches, educate future leaders and citizens who understand and practice sustainability, and demonstrate sustainable practices in the University’s day-to-day operations. OSU is committed to incorporating sustainability in its education, research, outreach, and operations as a critical component to its goal of becoming a top-ten land grant university.

Provost's Sustainability Council

OSU Provost Sabah Randhawa has formed a group of faculty, staff and students to recommend what action the university needs to take to become a leader in sustainability teaching and research. The group meets periodically and represents most academic areas of campus. Members of the Council: Gail, Achterman, Carol Caughey, Robert Collier, Jesse Ford, Denise Lach, Bill Lunch, Mark Pagell, Steve Radosevich, John Selker, Brandon Trelstad, Anthony Veltri, Ken Williamson.  View the 2005 Report.

Sustainable Facilities Committee

Formed in November, 2004 and comprised of operations employees, this task force created a strategic direction to operational sustainability for the OSU campus. The committee developed a sustainability strategic plan for operations. After completion of the plan, the SFC was absorbed into two other existing campus committees because of significant membership and mission overlap, and the potential to expand the sustainability conversation beyond the usual interested parties.

Oregon Department of Energy

ODOE aims to ensure Oregon has an adequate supply of reliable and affordable energy and is safe from nuclear contamination, by helping Oregonians save energy, develop clean energy resources, promote renewable energy and clean up nuclear waste.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 

DEQ is a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon's Environment. DEQ is responsible for protecting and enhancing Oregon's water and air quality, for cleaning up spills and releases of hazardous materials, and for managing the proper disposal of hazardous and solid wastes.

Sustainable Oregon

The State of Oregon's sustainability website communicates developments in Oregon state government and connects with local agencies, organizations and businesses taking leadership roles in sustainable development.

Planning

OSU Strategic Plan

OSU's mission is to promote “economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for people across Oregon, the nation and the world."  As such, the OSU Strategic Plan has recently been updated to emphasize OSU's strengths and services areas around sustainability outlines the following Signature Areas of Distinction:
• Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems
• Improving Human Health and Wellness
• Promoting Economic Growth and Social Progress.

The Strategic Plan also commits OSU to substantially reducing OSU's carbon footprint. 

Campus Master Plan

OSU's 2004 Master Plan, prepared by Facilities Services Campus Planning, guides physical development of the 570 acre Corvallis campus. Specifically, it identifies guiding principles and policies for long-range planning that will direct development over the approximate 10- to 12-year planning horizon. It also establishes a conceptual framework for the campus through program development, land use determinations, intensity of development, and parking and circulation initiatives and enhances the relationship and connectivity with the surrounding community.

The Master Plan addresses sprawl through a sector-based approach to growth. Standards for green and open space vary from sector to sector, emphasizing appropriate density levels and growth boundaries. Walking is emphasized as a primary mode of transportation via a "10 minute walk principle" and a campus shuttle is provided for more distant areas of campus.

President's Climate Commitment

OSU is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The commitment requires outlining within two years a path toward climate neutrality.

In addition to planning for climate neutrality, the Commitment requires greenhouse gas inventories and interim measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more on climate planning.

Strategic Plan for Operations

OSU's Sustainable Facilities Committee (SFC) was established in November, 2004 by the Facilities Services Department to develop guiding principles, policies and procedures that move campus infrastructure and operations toward sustainability. Additionally, the group served as a discussion forum for the various operations groups on the OSU campus. In February, 2006, the group was absorbed into two other existing campus groups.

The SFC's task was to collaboratively create the strategic and goal setting first part of a two part plan. Development of the second part has begun, and is comprised of more detailed implementation and guidance documents, including a campus-wide Environmental Management System.

The SFC has developed Part I of the plan in accordance with its vision to ultimately transform OSU into a sustainable institute of higher education. This includes becoming more environmentally responsible and economically stable as it strives to become one of America's top 10 land grant universities. At the heart of this movement is a transformation of OSU into an institution guided by sustainable practices.

Read the Sustainability Strategic Plan for operations (Word document).

Policies

OSU's 1994 Recycled Paper Policy

Annual Reports

The Sustainability Office creates OSU's sustainability reports every year or two years.  The reports are based on key performance indicators, activity highlights plus other key aspects of OSU’s sustainability work. 

Fiscal Year 2016 OSU Sustainability Report

OSU's reports are in part built on data from OSU's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) data.  STARS is a comprehensive measure of sustainability in higher education.  STARS ratings are good for three years, so some numeric scores below may not show within the STARS reporting tool.

Fiscal Year Submission Date STARS Version STARS Score
2010 Jan. 31, 2011 1.0 69.74
2012 May 11, 2013 1.2 68.95
2013 Apr. 30, 2014 2.0 70.94
2014 Apr. 30, 2015 2.0 72.78
2015 Mar. 4, 2016 2.0 73.24
2016 Feb. 28, 2017 2.1 72.21

Fiscal Year 2014 OSU Sustainability Report 

OSU’s FY14 sustainability performance by STARS subcategories

Positive trending indicator categories, FY13-FY14
• Curriculum
• Energy
• Grounds
• Water

Negative trending indicator categories, FY13-FY14
• Buildings
• Dining Services
• Research

High performing indicator categories, FY14
• Campus Engagement
• Coordination, Planning & Governance
• Diversity & Affordability
• Grounds
• Research

Low performing indicator categories, FY14
• Air and Climate
• Buildings
• Dining Services
• Energy
• Investment
• Waste

Fiscal Year 2013 OSU Sustainability Report

In 2013, the STARS assessment tool underwent a major upgrade and consolidation of credits, temporarily making precise year-to-year comparisons difficult. Where possible, this report both attempts and examines the limitations of comparisons. The following figure summarizes OSU’s sustainability performance indicator categories for FY13.

OSU’s FY13 sustainability performance by STARS subcategories

Positive trending indicator categories, FY12-FY13
• Curriculum
• Air and Climate
• Transportation
• Investment
• Public Engagement

Negative trending indicator categories, FY12-FY13
• Dining Services
• Energy
• Purchasing
• Water
• Health, Wellbeing and Work

High performing indicator categories, FY13
• Campus Engagement
• Research
• Grounds
• Coordination, Planning & Governance
• Diversity & Affordability

Low performing indicator categories, FY13
• Air and Climate
• Buildings
• Dining Services
• Energy
• Purchasing
• Waste
• Water
• Investment

Fiscal Year 2012 OSU Sustainability Report

Steady progress was made toward key sustainability initiatives in FY12 and Oregon State University is maintaining its vision to be among the Top 10 land grant institutions in America, and a sustainability leader. One key progress indicator is a 4.2% decrease since FY11 in greenhouse gas emissions, in alignment with Strategic Plan Phase II’s initiative to substantially reduce OSU’s carbon footprint and President Ray’s signature to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Read the full report.

2009 OSU Sustainability Inventory

Institute for Natural Resources

In spring 2008 the Institute for Natural Resources (INR) was asked to conduct an inventory of OSU’s sustainability capabilities. To produce this inventory, INR used a variety of sources of information, including the OSU on-line course catalogue, the OSU website, documents from units, and the Research Office’s grants and contracts data. Since the term “sustainability” lacks a precise definition and is interpreted differently by different audiences, inclusion of particular activities is not exact.

The 2009 INR report is a snapshot of the depth and breadth of research, education, outreach, and operations activities as they relate to sustainability at Oregon State University. Most of the work at OSU contributes to one or more of the dimensions of sustainability but trying to balance and link these dimensions challenges how we think and do our teaching and scholarship. As such, particular emphasis was given to: (1) activities that identify their intent or self-describe “sustainability”; (2) the areas in which OSU sustainability activities appear to link the four dimensions of sustainability—environmental, economic, institutional, and social; and (3) the identification and categorization of OSU sustainability strengths.

Institutional Carbon Neutrality

On April 11, 2007 OSU President Ed Ray signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), now known as the Carbon Commitment, requiring OSU to do three things:

  1. Take immediate interim steps to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions
  2. Measure the institution's emissions every two years
  3. Identify a target date to achieve climate neutrality and create a plan to get there, the most involved and important step in meeting the requirements of the Commitment.

Because OSU signed before June 30, 2007 it is a charter signatory.

OSU Carbon Plan: Targeting Neutrality by 2025

In 2008 and 2009, the OSU Sustainability Office facilitated a community process to develop the first OSU Climate Plan, a strategic plan for climate neutrality that is based on the OSU Strategic Plan. Community input and a review of goals set by the State of Oregon and the Oregon University System helped shape OSU's aggressive goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

In 2016, the Sustainability Office kicked off an extensive update process to rewrite the plan and advance processes that distribute ownership and implementation responsibilities more broadly across the campus.

OSU's Interim Steps

Commitment signatories were within two months of signing required to take at least two of seven tangible actions while developing comprehensive climate plans. At the time, OSU selected the following three actions:

  • Constructing all new facilities, including major remodels, to LEED Silver equivalent or higher
  • Providing transit passes to all students, staff and faculty on four regional transit systems
  • Purchasing renewable energy certificates to offset 75% of OSU's electrical consumption

Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Commitment requires inventorying greenhouse gasses every two years. Inventory reports provide important baselines for action to reduce OSU's greenhouse gas emissions. For enhanced reporting, OSU completes greenhouse gas inventory reports every fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

OSU Carbon Planning Process

Unit Level Carbon Planning

The OSU Sustainability Office will work with academic colleges and administrative divisions to create college and division (unit) level carbon plans that reduce carbon emissions and integrate sustainability and climate change education across curriculum and research efforts. The goal is to increase and standardize practices that help reach OSU's aggressive carbon emissions reduction goals and support OSU's Strategic Plan

Unit level carbon planning is adaptive to unit needs, and guidance is available. Recognizing the need for a tailored approach, and after extensive benchmarking and development, the Sustainability Office and our partners adapted the toolkit below from similar work at Penn State University.

Carbon Planning Toolkit Introduction

Our goal is to inspire individual actions at the unit level related to operations, curriculum and research that reduce global carbon emissions. One method successful at other leading institutions is unit level education, assessment and conversation. At OSU, this process will be supported by the Sustainability Office every step of the way.

With their permission, we have adapted and supplemented Penn State University's Sustainability Planning Guidebook and process; you will see frequent references to that institution rather than OSU. Please keep in mind that although Penn State's Guidebook is constructed around sustainability planning, our core work focuses on climate and carbon impacts. The process and tools for carbon planning are largely the same. We appreciate our Penn State colleagues' willingness to share, and anticipate releasing an OSU-specific version of these tools in the future.

To get started: Form the Team

We will work with you and/or your college or division leadership to designate a primary contact person and establish a group of stakeholders from within your unit.  This group will share responsibility for moving your planning process forward.

Step 1: Educate

What does carbon planning look like, why is it important, and how does it fit with OSU's mission and climate protection goals? We will provide a variety of resources to help get your team up to speed.

Step 2: Assess

Your college or division is probably already doing great things related to climate protection and sustainability. We will help you create a portfolio of these activities and highlight linkages to your college or division strategic plan. We can also help illustrate your unit's direct carbon emissions.

Step 3: Prioritize

Based on your portfolio, your team will identify points of convergence around your unit's climate protection expertise.

Step 4: Vision

To clearly and concisely articulate your strategic destination, your team will develop a short vision statement.

Step 5: Set Goals, Draft Plan

Using a combination of adaptive and prescriptive planning tools, we'll create the first draft of your plan. The outcome is to have goals that include both big wins and quick wins - a mix of actions and strategies for your unit - that are specific, measureable, actionable, realistic and time bound (SMART strategies).

Step 6: Implement

A few final tools help assure plan adoption and implementation. Your Implementation Summary Table will be a concise document where your goals, actions, key personnel and other details can all be seen in one place. We will help create a checkup calendar that aligns with the strategic plan update cycle for your college or division.

You've been introduced, start using the Toolkit!

 

If you cannot identify your highest level organizational unit below, please contact us for help.

Academic Colleges

Administrative Divisions
(many with academic focus)

Agricultural Sciences Academic Affairs
Business Alumni Relations
Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Enrollment Management
Education Finance & Administration
Engineering Graduate School
Forestry Information Services
Liberal Arts Intercollegiate Athletics
Pharmacy International Programs
Public Health and Human Sciences INTO OSU
Science Hatfield Marine Science Center
Veterinary Medicine OSU Cascades Campus
  President's Office*
  Research
  Student Affairs
  Undergraduate Studies
  University Honors College
  University Relations & Marketing
  University Outreach & Engagement

* For the sake of this carbon planning process, President's Office includes the following units: General Counsel, Audit Services, Institutional Diversity, Equal Opportunity & Access, Government Relations, Community Diversity Relations, and University Ombuds.

The Sustainability Office is here to support you! Get started or learn more by contacting us.

Background

In fall 2015, the OSU Sustainability Office convened discussions regarding updating OSU's 2009 Climate Plan.  Much has changed since 2009 when OSU created its first strategic planning documents to address institutional carbon emissions and the education and research activities around climate issues.  Recognizing that more urgent action is imperative, OSU is currently reworking its carbon plan and creating a new, distributed framework for action that more closely mirrors the culture and decision making processes within the university.

This extensive update will reflect the decentralized nature of the institution, as well as the process differences that exist across campus units.  One major goal is to inspire action through process ownership at the college and division level. 

Led by the Sustainability Office and the OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory, a working group of stakeholders emerged and began meeting regularly in early 2016 with a goal of producing documents for OSU leadership review in summer 2016.

The Carbon Planning Steering Committee
  • Brandon Trelstad, OSU Sustainability Officer*
  • Erika Allen Wolters, Director, OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory (OPAL), School of Public Policy*
  • Sally Duncan, Director (retired), OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory (OPAL)*
  • Rick Colwell, Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences*
  • Ann Scheerer, PhD, Sustainability Double Degree*
  • Court Smith, Emeritus Professor, School of Language, Culture, and Society*
  • Sarah Boege, Graduate Student, Master of Public Policy
  • Stephen Naimoli, Graduate Student, Master of Public Policy, OPAL project liaison
  • Shawn Williams, Undergraduate Student, College of Agricultural Sciences, Sustainability Double Degree
  • Logan Adams, Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering and International Studies, University Honors College
  • Carter Frantz-Geddes, Undergraduate Student, Environmental Science and Student Sutainability Initiative staff

*Carbon Planning Core Team members

Current subcommittees include Plan Narrative; Strategy and Action Selection; and Engagement and Outreach

Additional contributors

  • Saul Boulanger, Senior, College of Liberal Arts
  • Carly Curin, Graduate Student, Master of Public Policy
  • Nathan Davis, Graduate Student, Master of Public Policy
  • Jynwaye Foo, Media Coordinator, Student Sustainability Initiative and Student, Environmental Science
  • Rima Reves, Library Technician, Circulation/LEAD, OSU Libraries and Press
  • Amanda Rhodes, Senior, Family and Community Health
  • Inara K. Scott, Assistant Professor, College of Business
  • Graham Shaw, Transportation Coordinator, Student Sustainability Initiative
  • Chloe Stewart, Sophomore, Environmental Science, French minor, Freelance Writer

To get involved, please contact Brandon.

Carbon Planning Toolkit

To get started: Form the Team

There are several ways to form your college or division (unit) carbon action team (UCAT), and the approach will vary depending on the culture of your unit. College or division leadership may designate a committee or task force. Alternatively, an informal group can form on its own, and the Sustainability Office can take responsibility for involving unit leadership. Since resources are limited, we may not be able to fully support teams formed at the subunit (school or department) level unless specifically requested by college or division leadership. 

It's a good idea to have a mix of people on your UCAT, particularly those familiar with the core mission and operational elements of the unit. Main stakeholder interests should be represented. Depending on your unit, these could be students, instructors, researchers, Extension agents, staff and/or advisory board members. If your unit needs help to form a UCAT, contact the Sustainability Office to discuss a timeline and process for team formation. Penn State also has guidance on team formation. Please keep in mind that although Penn State's Planning Guidebook is constructed around sustainability planning, our core work is climate protection and carbon emissions reduction. The process and tools for carbon planning are largely the same.

After your team forms, we'll join you for this first of several UCAT meetings. We are available to join any of the key meetings bolded below, but our attendance may not be needed at every one. As teams form, we will post more information here to help connect stakeholders with the appropriate UCAT.

Step 1: Educate

The following resources are intended to help get UCAT members up to speed and conversant about the Toolkit and relevant subject matter. After team review of these materials we will address questions and requests for additional information, and during meeting two introduce you to the assessment process. More resources will be posted below as they become available.

Toolkit and planning process:

OSU material:

Additional material:

Step 2: Assess

Before starting the planning process, it's critical to take a snapshot of where you are today.  The Sustainability Office has created assessment tools to inventory carbon and climate related activities and impacts within your unit. Your UCAT should enlist the help of others in the unit to complete your assessment survey. After you submit the survey, we will create a summary of findings and other relevant information.  We will meet with you to present the summary and recommendations for your consideration, to give you a head start on the planning process. This will typically be meeting three. After this meeting, we recommend your group convene again to run the Maturity Model, which helps a unit understand its stage of engagement around climate issues. 

To give units a head start on gathering information for the assessment surveys, the following PDFs show the survey fields. When you are ready to begin your survey, please contact us for a link.

Step 3: Prioritize

Based on the portfolio of information from your assessment survey and your unit's Maturity Model results, your UCAT will step through a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis and identify the convergence of your unit's expertise around climate and sustainability. During meeting four, we'll provide an overview of the following tools from the Penn State process we are following:

Step 4: Vision

With the knowledge gained during assessment and prioritization, your team will create a short vision statement for the carbon and climate related work of the unit. Creating a clear and inspirational vision can be one of the most powerful steps you take. A vision tells us where we want to go. A good vision keeps people focused and leads to efficiency and high levels of collaboration because everyone knows the destination. Penn State provides guidance and a worksheet for this step.

Step 5: Set Goals, Draft Plan

The goal setting stage involves two primary activities: UCAT brainstorming and completion of a plan builder survey. Both of these activities will follow general guidance, but not the same planning path, as step 5 of Penn State's Planning Guidebook. We highly encourage teams to perform the open brainstorming process first and use the more prescriptive OSU plan builder second.

The Sustainability Office will take information gathered from earlier steps, as well as the brainstorming session, and create a custom plan builder survey for you. Your UCAT will complete the survey with feedback from unit stakeholders and others. Based on these inputs, the Sustainability Office will sketch out a rough carbon plan draft for your review at meeting five. On a timeline chosen by your UCAT, a more refined draft will be presented to college or division leadership. The Sustainability Office will facilitate, as needed, input from college and division leadership into the final version(s) of the plan.

Goals should include both big wins and quick wins, or a mix of actions and strategies for your unit. They should be specific, measureable, actionable, realistic and time bound (SMART strategies).

Step 6: Implement

Now the hardest planning is over, but the real work is yet to begin! With the rough draft plan created at the end of step 5, the final work to help assure its successful adoption and implementation includes two primary elements: an Implementation Summary Table and the Support System Checklist. The Summary Table will serve as a concise single document where your goals, actions, key personnel and other details are captured. The Support System Checklist is an internal tool for your UCAT to ensure forward movement on your plan. We will also help create a checkup calendar that aligns with the strategic plan update cycle for your college or division.

Additional resources

Flying Less: Reducing Academia's Carbon Footprint

Additional background

The 2016 OSU Carbon Action Planning Guide

This guide evolved out of a collaboration between the OSU Sustainability Office and the OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory (OPAL). The document is the result of a committed group of faculty, staff and students working together to create guidance that enables OSU to engage in strategic and tactical steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net carbon neutrality by 2025.

Supporting documents that accompany the Guide.

Additional background from the 2016 plan/guide development process.

Emissions Measurement and Reporting

The OSU Sustainability Office measures OSU's greenhouse gas emissions annually through a very detailed inventory process and issues a public report that illustrates emissions by source. FY16 emissions from major sources and updated trends since FY07 are shown below.

FY16 Carbon Pie

 

Gross GHG Emissions

GHG Emissions Normalized

 

Updated net emissions since FY07 are shown below. Net emissions include purchases of carbon offsets or renewable energy certificates (RECs), and can vary greatly from year to year since offsets and RECs can be purchased sporatically and in very small or very large amounts. Gross emissions above, on the other hand, are more stable and more accurately reflect on-site emissions from university activities.

Net GHG Emissions

A Goal of Climate Neutrality

A central tenet of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is the "pursuit of climate neutrality."  Climate neutrality is defined as having no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  This is to be achieved by minimizing emissions as much as possible, and using carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions. This applies to all Scope 1 and 2 emissions (defined below), as well as those Scope 3 emissions from commuting and from air travel paid for by or through the institution.

  • Scope 1: direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by the institution such as combustion of natural gas, gasoline, propane and diesel, and other sources
  • Scope 2: indirect emissions from purchased electricity

Measuring GHG Emissions

Scope and Boundaries

Identifying scope and boundaries issues is a critical step in emissions reporting.  In an effort to measure all emissions resulting from OSU activity, the boundaries were drawn to be fairly broad: any emissions from an entity over which OSU has financial and/or operational control were included.

Some emissions sources are intentionally omitted due to unavailable data, poor data quality or the inability to properly calculate emissions, mainly as a result of uncertain emissions calculation methodology.  Omitted sources include

  • Miscellaneous directly-financed travel
  • Water treatment and distribution
  • Long-distance student travel
  • Lifecycle/embodied emissions
  • Off-campus vehicle use and solid waste

Peer institution comparison

For context, OSU emissions are compared with that of peer institutions in the figure below. All ACUPCC signatories are required to submit emissions reports to the ACUPCC Reporting System.

Institutional Comparison

Emissions Reports

Report Period Report Title Author or Source Notes
FY16 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed March 2017
FY15 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed March 2016
FY14 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed April 2015
FY13 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed June 2014
FY12 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed April 2013
FY11 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed January 2012
FY10 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed March 2011. More comprehensive than past reports, includes for the first time emissions from non-contract car rentals, non-TRES reimbursed travel, and more. This is also the first year of operations for the the new Energy Center cogeneration facililty.
FY09 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed March 2010
FY08 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed March 2009. The Sustainability Office implemented major changes relative to FY07 in the FY08 scope and boundaries, and updated processes based on internationally-recognized updates in greenhouse gas reporting.
FY08 Lifecycle and Embodied Emissions Analysis Good Company In summer 2009, the Oregon University System (OUS) contracted with Good Company to provide an analysis of the embodied emissions (emissions produced during the lifecycle of a product) of goods and services purchased by the seven OUS institutions.  These emissions, which include emissions from construction, food, paper, equipment and furniture, were calculated based on expenditures incurred during FY08 and totaled nearly 85,000 t CO2e for OSU.
FY07 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report OSU Sustainability Office Completed June 2008. This was the first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory completed by OSU. It attempts apples-to-apples comparisons with the CY04 report and elaborates about methodology and its then new, radically expanded scope.
CY04 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report Good Company In 2006 and 2007, OUS hired Good Company to create the first greenhouse gas inventory for the seven OUS campuses. As part of that work, Good Company created profiles for each institution based on available data, which varied from campus to campus.
CY90 Greenhouse Gas Baseline for Building Energy Use Good Company In 2009, OUS hired Good Company to estimate 1990 emissions from buildings for all seven OUS campuses. The emissions estimate was calculated using campus building square footage and a study on average building energy use for the western United States.

2009 Climate Plan

As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, OSU created a plan to become climate neutral - by 2025.

On September 15, 2009, OSU submitted its Climate Plan to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.  Key elements of the Plan include:

  • the relationship between the OSU Strategic Plan and climate neutrality
  • emissions trajectories and goals
  • targeted reductions by emissions category
  • climate change related education and community engagement
  • climate change related research

Planning Process

In summer 2008, a team of graduate students reviewed documents and collected benchmark information to begin the plan development process. The next steps included a public process whereby the Sustainability Office facilitated volunteer groups of OSU students, faculty and staff in drafting specific parts of OSU's climate plan.

On Tuesday, February 10, 2009, OSU hosted a forum where the campus community was asked to help set the direction for university climate goals. Participants were asked to weigh in on priorities and focus areas.

During spring and summer 2009, the Sustainability Office issued several drafts of the Climate Plan and requested feedback from the OSU community through an online survey.

Climate Plan Archives

Version 1.2. A second major revision issued September 9.
Version 1.1. The first major revision was released August 26.
Version 1.0. On Aug.17, 2009, the Sustainability Office completed the first draft of the OSU Climate Plan.

Feedback on the OSU Climate Plan is still welcome.

Resources

State greenhouse gas emission reduction goals (page 2 of the pdf)
Climate Commitment Implementation Guide (pdf)
Env. Health and Engineering's Seven Steps to Developing a Climate Action Plan (pdf)
How to Account for Carbon Sinks in Campus Forests or Lands
Subscribe to Climate Commitment Implementer monthly newsletter
Climate Commitment Reporting System
Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science (pdf)

Also check out the OSU climate planning Google groups page, which archives the work from 2008.

STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a set of peer reviewed, standardized indicators that help measure, and therefore manage, sustainability efforts within higher education.  It is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability, developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with broad participation from the higher education community.

Five times since January 2011, OSU has attained a Gold rating in STARS.  It was the first school in Oregon to submit its report. 

Fiscal Year Submission Date STARS Version STARS Score
2010 Jan. 31, 2011 1.0 69.74
2012 May 11, 2013 1.2 68.95
2013 Apr. 30, 2014 2.0 70.94
2014 Apr. 30, 2015 2.0 72.78
2015 Mar. 4, 2016 2.0 73.24
2016 Feb. 28, 2017 2.1 72.21

STARS is designed to:

  • provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education
  • enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community
  • create incentives for continual improvement
  • facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance
  • build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

The STARS framework is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada – from community colleges to research universities, and from institutions just starting their sustainability programs to long-time campus sustainability leaders.  STARS encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability.

OSU is a charter participant in the STARS program and performs a campus wide assessment every one to two years.  STARS allows OSU to gauge progress towards sustainability and also put us on a path to become a more sustainable campus over time.  These goals and assessment process align with guidance and directives from President Ray and Provost Randhawa and also are in line with OSU's climate initatives and the OSU Strategic Plan.

OSU's STARS Timeline and History

  • January 2017: target timeframe for next STARS submission.
  • March 4, 2016: The Sustainability Office submitted OSU's FY15 STARS report receiving a Gold rating and 73.24 points.
  • April 30, 2015: The Sustainability Office submitted OSU's FY14 STARS report receiving a Gold rating and 72.78 points.
  • April 30, 2014: The Sustainability Office submitted OSU's FY13 STARS report receiving a Gold rating and 70.94 points.
  • May 11, 2013: For its FY12 STARS report, Oregon University scored 68.95 points and received STARS Gold certification.
  • January 31, 2011: OSU submits its first report (for FY10) and was the first and only school in Oregon to submit its STARS report on time, by the January 31 deadline.  This first deadline was the first round of STARS participants.
  • Fall 2010: During fall term, data collection continued and followup from summer data requests were made.   Recommendations for feasible, immediate institutional changes to achieve additional STARS LogoSTARS points were made throughout the fall and winter.  Some of the most challenging aspects of STARS included defining sustainability research and sustainability related and sustainabiltiy focused courses.  The Sustainability Office convened teams of researchers and teaching faculty to help create and refine these definitions.  With these definitions, Sustainability Office staff reviewed thousands of courses and hundreds of research projects to determine what aspects of the research or teaching activity included sustainability. 
  • Summer 2010: The Sustainability Office began the data gathering process.  This included the identification of stakeholders throughout campus that have access to information needed to complete STARS reporting.  Data collection from most sources occurred during July, August and September.

Green Office Certification

 

The Green Office Certification is a simple yet effective way for OSU faculty and staff to further their sustainability efforts and get recognition for their work. It is also intended to provide new ideas for easy steps your office can take to reduce your environmental footprint and carbon emissions.

HOW IT WORKS

The Certification utilizes an online Qualtrics survey to assess existing office practices in areas like energy, water, waste management, purchasing, transportation and outreach.

The survey can be saved and continued at any time, allowing you to complete it at your own pace.  Once you start a survey, you can access it from the same computer on which you started, using the same link. Within the survey you will find resources and links to aid your certification submittal.

Once data entry and analysis are complete, we will send your score and certification level, as well as recommendations for possible improvement.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

For this program, "office" is user-defined with a flexible definition that may be synonymous with department. An office may be a small group or a larger organizational unit, but note that some Certification questions require broad engagement of unit personnel. In some cases, smaller offices may be good places to start, and can encourage others within a larger unit to become certified. Initially, Certification will be limited to offices on the Corvallis campus.

To get started TAKE SURVEY HERE!

If you have any questions, please e-mail us

Office

RECOGNITION LEVELS

Point values are displayed within the survey in order to give a sense of value for each item. After the Sustainability Office has reviewed your submission and scored it, we will provide a manually calculated report showing your office’s current certification level. 

Certification levels:        
Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum                            

 

CERTIFIED OFFICES

Unit Certification Date  Certification Level
School of Psychological Science December 13, 2016 Silver

Student Sustainability Initiative

and Center for Civic Engagement

April 13, 2017 Bronze

West Dining Center Office

 April 18, 2017

 

Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management

May 3, 2017

Department of Recreational Sports

June 5, 2017

Oak Creek Bee Farm

June 5, 2017

 

MORE INFORMATION

The Resources and Tips page supports - and is linked from - the survey itself and contains information and definitions used in the Certification.

If you are interested in carbon emissions reduction planning or sustainability strategic planning, please see our Unit Level Carbon Planning page.

The Green Office Certification was created through a partnership between the Sustainability Office, Campus Recycling and Transportation Services.

For questions or comments about the Green Office Certification, please contact the Sustainability Office.

Research

On-Going Research Initiatives

OSU School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering Senior Projects

Students in CBEE are able to partake in a senior project, displaying their skills and knowledge they have earned over their undergraduate career. 

An ongoing list of student projects is available to display the students' work. Past projects have included topics such as stormwater quality, a solar powered steam generator, and wastewater nutrient recovery. Project topics in this program frequently involve sustainability and students even partner with different sustainability leaders in Oregon. 

Making Solar More Efficient and Manufacturable 

Materials research is at the core of transforming solar energy technology. Appropriate selection of materials enables new technologies that are inexpensive, highly efficient and reliable. Oregon State University conducts a variety of materials research leading to next generation technologies.

Advancements include thin film flexible substrate solar technologies, high efficiency coatings and transparent electronics to optimize solar energy harvest. In partnering with companies like Oregon BEST and Solar World  OSU research in solar technologies is expanding at an exciting pace. For more information on current solar research projects at OSU, see Senergi's project page.

Leading Fuel Cell Research  

Researchers across the disciplines of chemistry, materials science and electrical engineering are working on ever-more compact hydrogen storage for fuel cell application. Fuel cells convert chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or different oxidizing agent. Fuel cells vehicles are gaining momentum in the automotive industry, and with contributions from the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute (with which OSU is a partner) cost-effective hydrogen storage systems will become more available.

Hydrogen can be stored in a range of materials such as metal hydrides, chemical hydrides, and adsorption materials. Researchers are developing new dielectric materials (a form of electric insulators) packaged into portable energy storage devices (also known as capacitors) which increase energy-efficiency in the device. These devices can be embedded in automotive engines and have applications beyond. This approach has the potential to break the trend in energy storage science by increasing the energy density of materials. With time, knowledge of hydrogen fuel cell technology will be more accessible to the general public.

Wind Energy Moving Forward

OSU's Energy Resources Research Laboratory is working with the Bonneville Power Administration on wind-forecasting models to determine the most productive locations for wind farms. Forecasting models are useful in research to capture excess energy generated during peak wind events and releasing the stored energy onto the power grid at times when wind speeds are slow. OSU research also focuses on grid management and integration of wind power.

Commercial wind farms are primarily located in rural areas which are relatively clear of other development (due to safety concerns).

But OSU research has resulted in the development of micro wind turbines that can be mounted in rows along the edges of building rooftops. That means wind power can be generated in urban and suburban settings, not just from rural wind farms of towering turbines. Micro turbines are encouraged for interested homeowners, but they should consult local building codes and zoning regulations before embarking on a micro turbine project.

 

Resources

Sustainability Energy & Infrastructure (Senergi)-Find more information on on-going research initiatives at OSU.

Institute for Natural Resources(INR)-This science-based interdisciplinary institute aims at communicating emerging knowledge to decision-makers and the public.  

OSU Research Agenda-Interested in the principles which lay the foundation for research at OSU? This page illustrates how OSU's research agenda stresses collaboration, relevance, and alignment with the university's Strategic Plan

College of Forestry-Look at what how one of university's leading programs promotes sustainable forestry practices and ecosystem vitality.

Sustainable Living Project-A research-based project offering thoughtful approaches to leading fulfilling, productive and environmentally responsible lives by balancing our economic, cultural and environmental needs.

Energy Information Administration-Examine detailed reports on national energy use broken up by type, time period, region, production amount, consumption, and cost. This site is loaded with information for those interested in energy statistics and issues (including political and social issues associated with Energy procurement and distribution)

The Natural Step-See how this organization is accelerating shifts towards sustainability with science-based approaches.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory-Explore renewable energies research on the national level.

Keiwit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation-The Kiewit Center serves as the umbrella organization for almost all research within the School of Civil and Construction Engineering

Pacific Northwest University Transportation Center (PacTrans)- OSU is a partner in PacTrans, a group that focuses on sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest.