Our sustainability plan is intended to invigorate and expand a culture of sustainability on campus with a consideration for our collective future and the future of the environment in which we live.

This plan does not commit specific funds to specific sustainability goals. Implementation of sustainability efforts will, in every case, move through a typical administrative process.

Our plan makes sustainability and sustainable options part of the conversation and process of growth and evolution of the Ohio Wesleyan campus and its community. The plan is aspirational and inspirational.

1. Commit to a Sustainable Future on Campus and in the Community

Reorganize Environmental Studies Program

By Fall 2017, expand the Environmental Studies program to include a new major in Environmental Science and a standalone Environmental Studies major. By Spring 2018, have a plan for a faculty position to expand course offerings in sustainability and environment, as part of established faculty positions, or a new position funded by a donation. By Fall of 2019, have a Climate Studies minor in place in the program (in addition to the Food Studies minor already established).

OWU Campus Sustainability Coordinator

By 2020, a strategy will be developed to perpetually fund a full-time Sustainability and Student Research Coordinator with an applied sustainability and environmental focus, as well as facilities and support for this position. This full-time mentor and teacher will lend coherence to sustainability and environmental initiatives on campus and in the community. The coordinator would also help to enhance the interdisciplinary work of students interested in sustainability by providing hands-on experience and practical projects alongside classroom learning.

5% Yearly Growth in Student Sustainability Involvement

5% growth per year in student projects and participation across all departments. Cross-disciplinary study with environmental topics will be encouraged and all student projects will be documented.

2. Reduce Our Impact on Global Climate Change

Commit to Energy-Efficient Building Investments

By 2018, the university will develop a plan to invest in high return-on-investment (ROI) energy savings projects in unrenovated campus buildings in an effort to create a more efficient campus. Current practices of applying appropriate green building updates to buildings being built or renovated will be maintained.

Renewable Energy on Campus

By 2020, OWU will be using 5% solar or other renewable energy on campus, most likely through purchase through electric company. B&G will continue to explore renewable energy opportunities, collaborations, and other options and report on such possibilities annually to the Sustainability Task Force.

Alternative Energy on Campus

By 2018, develop a proposal to fund the installation of basic solar and wind energy technology for both pedagogical and energy awareness purposes on campus.

Annual Student-Run Energy Reduction Challenge

By 2017, initiate an annual student-run energy reduction challenge with pledges, challenges, and awards. This challenge will seek to change behaviors of energy usage that will carry over throughout the year. It will also involve monitoring of energy usage across campus.

3. Increase Our Health and Well-Being

Farm and Food Collaboration

By 2017, commit to a farm and food collaboration with Stratford Ecological Center and the Methodist Theological School’s Seminary Hill Farm. Collaborators will seek funding to develop the program as well as for a supervisor. The program will enhance local food use on campus and in the community, and integrate with our food studies minor as well as the campus garden. The campus garden will be developed and linked to OWU Activity Courses. Collaborators will develop a “Gardening Matters” outreach program as an extension of our current “Cooking Matters” program. The campus garden will be a sustainable component of campus life.

Purchase 15% of Campus Food from Local and Regional Sources

By 2020, Chartwells will purchase 20% of food for campus from local and regional sources starting with a 1% increase each year. An emphasis should be placed on food sources in the region, such as those provided by the Yellowbird Foodshed and related companies.

Campus Composting

By 2018, develop a long-term plan for composting on OWU’s campus. Options include composting bins, vermicompost, kitchen composting appliances, and collaboration with composting firms.

Food Recovery Network and Related Programs

By 2017, commit to maintain, document, and develop the Food Recovery Network and related programs which defer leftover, usable campus food to organizations capable of distributing the food to those in need.

4. Live Better on Campus and on Earth

Develop Sustainable Living Model Residence Option

By 2019, the University will create and evaluate a model for living sustainably in a selected floor of one residence hall. This model residential option will provide infrastructure that allows students to develop life-long sustainable habits. Rooms will be equipped with common items to eliminate waste and will have infrastructure needed for other sustainable practices like cooking or composting.

OWU Activity Courses on Sustainable Practices

By 2017, implement and evaluate two sustainability-oriented activity courses to be offered for .25 credit. Initial courses will focus on repair and gardening.

Maintain and Expand May Move-Out

Our student-initiated May Move-Out effort defers 10 tons of materials from landfills each spring by donating usable furniture, appliances, and other dorm contents to Goodwill for resale. Commit to maintain and develop this program.

New Campus Bird, Animal, Insect, and Plant Habitats

Each year, commit to at least one significant campus habitat enhancement through student, staff, and faculty involvement. Seek donations for these projects and define additional projects, including native plantings, bird houses and feeders, bees, and the restoration of Delaware Run between Sandusky St. and Henry St.

Reusable Food Container Program

By 2022, eliminate disposable food containers in HWCC Marketplace, in an effort to limit waste. Adoption has been slow, but promotion efforts will expand the use of reusable containers by 20% each year.

Terms of Support

We endorse the general aims and goals of the Plan, and the spirit with which it is intended. By endorsing this document, we understand that not all sustainability efforts the Plan details will necessarily be completed, nor are we committing to spend funds to meet the Plan’s goals. Implementation of sustainability efforts will, in every case, move through a typical administrative process. Endorsement of the Plan serves to raise awareness of sustainability in our community. We endorse making sustainability and sustainable options part of the conversation and process of growth and evolution of the Ohio Wesleyan campus and its community.

Sustainability Task Force


Nathan Rowley (chair), Amy Downing, John Krygier, Laurie Anderson, Barbara Wiehe, Meredith Dixon, Paul Dean, Peter Schantz, Shala Hankison, Shari Stone-Mediatore, Steve Ishmael, Thomas Wolber, Dan Magee, Justin Hardiman, and Kristin Weyman.


Emily Howald ’18, Ryan Bishop ’18, Elizabeth Sommerdorf ’18, Elizabeth Sizer ’18, Allie Niemeyer ’18, Elizabeth Anderson ’18, Sarah Hanes ’18, Izzy Taylor ’18, Eva Blockstein ’19, Caroline Hamlin ’19, Alix Templemen ’19, Jack Bouman ’19, Matt Burke ’19, Jessica Barrios ’19, Trevor Martin ’19, Kait Aromy ’20, Celeste Wallick ’20, Erin Magill ’20, Hannah Deitering ’20, Jess Fenander ’20, Mahnoor Ansari ’20, Peyton Hardesty ’20, Rebecca Porter ’20, Isabelle Behrens ’21, Leia Ashikawa ’21, and Dustin Braden ’21.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen and supported the effort. It was a huge collaborative project and could not have been accomplished without the hard work of every contributor and supporter. Thank you!

Official – November 2017

The Ohio Wesleyan Sustainability Plan will be revisited and updated each Spring.
Contact: John Krygier (jbkrygier@owu.edu)

Department Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center 202
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015

Department Contacts

Interim Chair: Nathan Rowley
Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability
Schimmel/Conrades Science Center 202
740-368-3619 | nrowley@owu.edu

Academic Assistant: Joshua Seiders
Schimmel/Conrades Science Center 201
740-368-3907 | jjseiders@owu.edu