Solar energy is sustaining several campus buildings, including our newest, award-winning academic center. Food waste from dining halls is captured and reused by student scientists researching how to maximize biogas production while generating campus heat and electricity. Sustainability is even a pillar of the new University Studies Program, our ground-up redesign of general education for every student, launching in fall 2013.
All this work, from every student, staff and faculty member at UW Oshkosh, is earning us distinction as a national leader in sustainability.
When you think “energy consumption” on a major University campus, your mind logically drifts to computer labs or large residence halls.
But it may come as a surprise to many that the biggest energy-eater at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is Halsey Science Center – home to a fleet of electricity-gulping scientific instruments and refrigeration units. Blackhawk Commons, the campus’s main student dining hall, ranks second on the list.
More efficient refrigerators are a top priority for the University’s new “Energy Team.” It is just one of the projects and potential cost-cutting solutions the group is going to investigate.
There’s a new opportunity for regional businesses, schools, nonprofits and other organizations to help produce renewable energy at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s groundbreaking “Biodigester” facility.
Dozens of restaurants, grocers, K-12 schools, hospitals and senior living communities are being recruited as partners in a new, community-based, food-waste-to-energy collaboration led by UW Oshkosh and Sanimax, a North American recycling pioneer since 1881 with 15 locations in Canada, the U.S and Mexico, specializing in byproduct collection services and transformation into high quality products.
Since 2011, UW Oshkosh’s state-of-the-art Biodigester, developed in partnership with the UW Oshkosh Foundation and BIOFerm Energy Systems of Madison, has been using campus food waste, sourced agricultural plant waste and city of Oshkosh grass clippings in the production of biogas. The large indoor composting and energy production facility in Oshkosh houses the waste in airless fermentation chambers after it is mixed in a large bay.
UW Oshkosh is among 21 colleges and universities from around the United States to earn a spot on The Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Honor Roll – the highest such accomplishment for the state’s third-largest university since it began sharing data with and demonstrating its sustainability progress to the company in the last decade.
The publisher and education services provider revealed the 2013 list Monday, Aug. 20. Both UW Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point made its prestigious 2013 Green Honor Roll tally, reserved for institutions that score the highest-possible score of 99.
“This is another accomplishment our faculty, staff, students and state can be extremely proud of,” UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells said.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is again being nationally recognized and applauded for its strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
The Sierra Club and Sierra Magazine released its annual “Coolest Schools” ranking, based on the “greenness” of participating universities; UW Oshkosh was ranked 14th in the nation, the highest ranking for UW Oshkosh to date and the highest ranking in the state.
Chalk it up as one more milestone on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s journey toward sustainability.
The University has become only the 25th institution to date in North America and the first in Wisconsin to earn the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE’s) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) “Gold” rating.