Oberlin Sustainability

Photo by Professor John Petersen

The Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) works to facilitate the implementation of the college’s comprehensive environmental policy in line with the college’s strategic goal of sustainability and commitment to carbon neutrality. OES interacts with the administration, faculty, staff, and students to focus attention on ways to maximize the environmental performance of Oberlin College and develop the awareness and tools required to respond dynamically to issues affecting them. OES also reaches out to the wider community and provides a connection between Oberlin and regional and national activities.

News & Announcements

Less is More in Ecolympics Contest

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Less is More in Ecolympics Contest Ecolympics—Oberlin’s campus-wide competition to reduce energy and water consumption—is already in full swing. This year’s Ecolympics brings Oberlin City Schools into the fray with a concurrent competition that takes full advantage of each school’s energy monitoring Environmental Dashboard.
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OES March eNewsletter

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

OES March eNewsletter Oberlin is known for its commitment to sustainability. When we go to conferences and interact with people in the field, Oberlin is consistently recognized as a leader. It's hard to pinpoint where, when, and how Oberlin became such a prominent force in sustainability -- of course there were many milestones along the way, like the creation of the AJLC or signing of the ACUPCC -- the momentum continues to this day as we strive for an even more resilient, healthier, happier campus and population.
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OES February eNewsletter

Thursday, March 13, 2014

OES February eNewsletter Greetings! I realize this February eNewsletter is coming at you quite a bit tardy; my apologies! While February is the shortest month of the year, it's also the first month of the spring semester at Oberlin. We packed a lot into this four-week month.
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Envisioning Sustainability

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Envisioning Sustainability Last year, Oberlin's Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) updated the environmental policy, installed new bike repair stations across campus, laid plans to update waste stations across campus, and hosted more than 30 events as part of the Ecolympics, the annual three-week competition between dorms to see who can reduce their water and electricity use the most. This year, the office hopes to expand on that succees, with Meghan Riesterer, as its new assistant vice president of energy management and sustainability, at the helm.
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Oberlin Solar Array Featured in Midwest Energy News

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Oberlin Solar Array Featured in Midwest Energy News The Oberlin solar array was featured in Midwest Energy News for our unusual partnership between Oberlin College and the City of Oberlin. The article highlights that the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power Services (OMLPS), Oberlin's municipal utility, is paying less for power throughout the year, and passing on those savings to customers, including Oberlin College. A couple of months ago, at the end of its first full year of operation, the new solar array had: • met about 12 percent of the college’s electricity needs • produced about 50 percent more power than projected during hours of peak demand • saved the utility nearly $100,000 in generation and distribution costs, translating into a slightly lower cost of power for customers • nudged up, by nearly 3 percentage points, the proportion of the city’s energy that is derived from renewable sources. (external link)
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OES January eNewsletter

Friday, January 03, 2014

OES January eNewsletter Greetings! With the New Year come fresh ideas and a new team member to the Office of Environmental Sustainability: Meghan Riesterer. As your new Assistant Vice President of Energy Management and Sustainability, I am very pleased to be among the first to welcome you back to campus for a very happy, healthy, and sustainable New Year with a lower carbon footprint! I am honored to be warmly welcomed into your Oberlin Family. With a rich history in good environmental stewardship, innovative energy solutions, and strong collaboration, I already feel as though I am home here at Oberlin.
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OES November/December eNewsletter

Friday, December 06, 2013

OES November/December eNewsletter As the semester and calendar year comes to a close, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on what's occurred this semester, as well as give thanks. This semester, we welcomed a record number of awesome interns who expanded our social media presence, planned our monthly OES Hangouts, started planning for Ecolympics, made improvements to our website, launched a cold water for laundry campaign, researched Complete Streets policies to aid the City of Oberlin, researched sustainable purchasing, and a variety of behind the scenes projects that we are excited to announce next semester!
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Envisioning Carbon Neutrality

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Envisioning Carbon Neutrality On Saturday, November 2, the keystone of the From Coal to Carbon Neutrality series—and its most ambitious event—takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Science Center. Billed as “An interactive college community workshop focusing on how we can mobilize to achieve carbon neutrality,” the event will explore various aspects of Oberlin’s efforts. Participants can join several break-out sessions on a variety of topics.
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OES October eNewsletter

Friday, October 04, 2013

OES October eNewsletter I am pleased to announce that over fall break, Oberlin College welcomed our first bike fix-it station! The Office of Environmental Sustainability partnered with the Green EDGE Fund, to bring the first Dero bike fix-it station to Oberlin College’s campus. The fix-it repair station makes basic bike repairs and maintenance simple, quick, and easy. The self-serve fix-it station is located in the middle of campus, situated by the covered bike racks between Mudd and Wilder Hall. The station itself serves as a stand with hanger arms, and comes equipped with maintenance and repair tools, such as hex keys, wrenches, tire levers, and screw drivers.
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The End of Coal

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The End of Coal The days of coal on Oberlin’s campus are numbered. In a few weeks, the college will begin a landmark phase in its effort to reach carbon neutrality when it starts the process of replacing the Central Heating Plant’s obsolete, coal-fired boilers with new natural gas-fired ones. On October 14, work will begin to prepare the site for construction, including an addition to house the new boilers. Approximately 141 days later, in early March 2014, Oberlin’s coal-fired boilers will be taken offline. From then on out, Oberlin will be a coal-free institution.
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