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Hanley Sustainability Institute

Green Energy Ohio gives Green Achievement Award in Academia to UD

By Shawn Robinson

The University of Dayton will receive Green Energy Ohio's Green Achievement Award in Academia at an awards ceremony Friday, April 17, at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Green Energy Ohio honors individuals, businesses, universities, nonprofits, and government and community entities for promoting sustainable energy policies, technologies and practices and educating Ohioans on renewable resources and energy conservation and efficiency.

The University earned the award on the strength of its curriculum, research, ranking in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), and Green Revolving Fund and sustainability investments such as solar arrays at Fitz Hall and Curran Place.

The University has a gold STARS rating; its score ranks in the top 3% of all rated schools, first in Ohio, and second among all U.S. Catholic colleges and universities. It earned perfect or near perfect marks for academic research; diversity and affordability; sustainability coordination and planning; purchasing and public engagement; and innovation and leadership. The AASHE 2019 Sustainable Campus Index lists the UD among the world's top performers in the categories of research and purchasing. It is one of just three Ohio institutions listed as a top performer in any category.

The Green Revolving Fund, launched in 2016, supports energy-saving improvements on campus, sustainability-related research and hands-on learning opportunities for students. Savings and additional rebates from those improvements are reinvested in the fund to invest in more sustainability initiatives on campus. In the last decade, the University has accumulated more than $500,000 in Dayton Power and Light rebates, which it has used to seed the Green Revolving Fund. Perhaps the University's largest investment was the installation of 4,026 solar panels with a capacity of 1.26 megawatts of power that will provide approximately 2% of campuswide power consumption and offset carbon emissions by about 1% annually. The project included a solar prairie at Curran Place with native plants that attract pollinators and improve the efficiency of the panels.

UD started a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in sustainability this academic year that adds to sustainability program academic offerings that include a minor and a 12-credit-hour graduate certificate. UD also has a master's program in renewable and clean energy.

UD has been ranked in Sierra magazine's "Cool Schools" list the past two years. It is the top-ranked school in the Midwest and ranks third among all U.S. Catholic colleges and universities. UD also is one of the 399 most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation, according to The Princeton ReviewGuide to 399 Green Colleges.

The University is part of Second Nature's Carbon Commitment; "We're Still In," which supports climate action to meet the Paris Agreement; the Global Catholic Climate Movement; and the U.N. Global Compact — the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative.

For more information or interviews, please contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.

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