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NE Ohio universities conspire to improve "green" grades

When it comes to sustainability, we are all lifelong students. Cleveland's higher education institutions are not excluded from this learning process. In fact, area colleges and universities spent a year reflecting upon on-campus sustainability initiatives and ways to improve current practices.

The Collegiate Sustainable Practices Consortium (CSPC) brought together six local colleges and universities to talk about best practices regarding energy, water, food, building and other areas of sustainability. Led by David Kruger, director of Baldwin-Wallace's Institute for Sustainable Business Practice (ISBP), the group included B-W, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, John Carroll and Oberlin.

Kruger noted in a summary of the consortium that "with its highly industrialized, manufacturing base, [our region] carries a long legacy of sustainability-related challenges: slowly declining employment in several economic sectors; a large environmental and carbon footprint from our manufacturing base; continued population decline in our urban core and in our region at large; and an aging infrastructure."

A recently released report shows what some local higher learning institutions have implemented regarding sustainability:

Baldwin Wallace's Ernthausen Residence Hall became the first residence hall in Ohio to have a geothermal heating and cooling system. . B-W has gone so far in its green initiatives to remove light bulbs from vending machine to conserve energy.

Cleveland State University has been investing in efficient lighting, solar power, mechanical upgrades and recycling programs. The school has been promoting student involvement in its sustainability efforts.

Cuyahoga Community College has six commissioned projects aiming aim for LEED Silver Certification. Tri-C has also developed its own customized green building standards for new construction and renovation projects.

Sources: B-W, CSU, Tri-C, Institute for Sustainable Business Practice
Writer: Diane DiPiero

This story originally appeared in Fresh Water Cleveland.
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