2018: Earned an EPEAT 2-Star Purchaser Award for third consecutive year
The award is given for excellence in sustainable purchasing of electronics. The combined impact of this year’s 38 EPEAT Sustainable Purchasing Award winners resulted in more than $16.8 million in energy savings, greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing 29,786 passenger cars from the road for a year and a reduction of more than 702 metric tons of hazardous waste. Read the UWO Today story.
2017: Earned an AASHE STARS Gold certificate for the fifth consecutive year
2017: Tree Campus USA for 7th consecutive year
2016: Became a Certified Wildlife Habitat (#196715)
This important practice is something you can do in your own backyard! Check out the National Wildlife Federation for more information.
Fall 2010: Bachelor’s of Environmental Health first becomes available
This degree program is housed in our biology department and trains students in community health, environmental testing, and quality control.
2010: EPA Green Power Partner Award
2010: Work begins on Horizon Village
The newest residence hall is LEED Gold Certified
2010: Top Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Location
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded UW Oshkosh the top WIAC spot in its annual Green Power Challenge. The University’s nearly 6.5 million kilowatt hours of green power consumption in 2010 beat out its lone WIAC competitor, UW-Stevens Point, which used more than 4.1 million green kilowatt-hours.
2010: Sierra Club ranks UWO #35 nationally for sustainability efforts
In August, Sierra Club released its annual Cool Schools rankings, based on the “greenness” of participating universities, with UW Oshkosh ranked 35th in the nation. The Cool Schools ranking is open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the nation, and UWO received a perfect 10 score in administration, a score of 9.5 in other initiatives, and scores of eight and nine in academics, purchasing and waste management.
2009: 1st Move-out day waste diversion efforts
2009: Established a plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2025
As signatories of the ACUPCC, we made a climate commitment in 2007. This year, we fleshed that out into a bold strategy for eliminating fossil fuel usage. Chancellor Wells said, “We took seriously the challenge of committing to a bold Climate Action Plan that will allow us to continue to provide leadership in sustainability to the state and the country…Setting an aggressive timeline is important to us as we strive to continue to lead the nation.”
2009: Campus Facilities repurposes an old grocery store building
2009: Hired our 1st Sustainability Director
This person and the office they manage serve as the hub for reporting, outreach, and institutionalization of sustainability goals
2008: Student Success Center Renovations
The design is LEED Silver Certified and includes geothermal heating. The SSC is the only campus building not connected to the main heating system!
2008: First University in the USA to declare a Fair Trade University
In 2008 UWO declared itself a Fair Trade University, following a model developed in the UK. This effort was championed by Environmental Studies Chair David Barnhill and passed through all 4 campus governance groups. The campus has built relationships between campus dining and retail operations, students, faculty, staff, and administrators to expand awareness and the availability of Fair Trade products on campus.
The plan was drafted by faculty and staff to extend our initial sustainability effort beyond the scope of operations to teaching, research, and res life. The Council’s purpose and role is to advise campus administration as they lead us in sustainability efforts. One aspect of this is to make sure sustainability is included in our Strategic Plan.
2007: Oshkosh Sports Complex Partnership
The grass at Titan Stadium was replaced with turf, saving 850,000gals of irrigation water annually!
2007: Student Recreation & Wellness Center opens
The center was funded by and designed for students.
2007: Signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
This visionary commitment was initiated by 12 college and university presidents from across the US and supported by Second Nature, AASHE, and ecoAmerica. Over 100 schools signed on to the ACUPCC in 2007, and UWO was among them.
2007: Became a member of ACORE
(American Council on Renewable Energy)
2006: Green power purchasing increased from 4% to 11%
2005: Taylor Hall Renovations
We like to call Taylor Hall our first “LEED-inspired” building!
2005: Received Energy Star Award
This award honors “organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency”.
2004: Received National Wildlife Federation Award
2003: EPA Recognition
We were the eleventh university in the US to receive the EPA Leadership Award and the first Wisconsin university to join their Green Power partnership, receiving the Green Power Purchaser Award in 2003.
2001: Signed the Earth Charter pledge
Driven by Andy Robson, Associate Dean of Letters & Science, and approved by all 4 campus governance groups, the Earth Charter commits UWO to “respect and care for the community of life” by supporting 1) ecological integrity 2) social & economic justice and 3) democracy, nonviolence & peace. We host a Earth Charter community summit each fall to remind ourselves of these principles, examine our progress, and plan for even more improvements.
2000: Environmental audits completed
Students took initiative, requesting environmental audits to create a baseline from which to improve. Chancellor Wells, Dean of Students Tom Sonnleitner, and Professor Steve Arndt were all supportive and this kicked off the operational efficiency phase of our sustainability story.