Kenyon's Office of Green Initiatives (OGI) leads sustainability efforts across the campus and encourages students and community members to work together to protect our shared environment.
In 2015, Sean Decatur and the Board of Trustees granted David Heithaus the opportunity to lead the new Office of Green Initiatives. The OGI team has since expanded to eight, with interns working as leaders in four areas of emphasis: compost and recycling; communications; carbon emission reporting; and outreach and events.
The Office of Green Initiatives team has expanded to eleven, with ten interns working in pairs as leaders in five areas of emphasis: compost and recycling, communications, carbon emission reporting, outreach and events and U-Capture (see below).
The pilot compost program is off to a positive start with all apartment kitchens contributing organic material to the Kenyon Farm each Saturday. Interns have also been distributing new recycling bins across campus, ensuring that every space has the proper facilities.
The office will be continuing the green lifestyles certification program, giving Kenyon students, faculty and staff the opportunity to be recognized for their sustainable activities by completing green objectives. The purpose of this program is to encourage members of the Kenyon community to take ownership of their individual carbon footprints and recognize that simple everyday actions have a real impact on the world around us.
Kenyon has joined the Planet Forward Consortium based at George Washington University. This group of colleges and universities works to facilitate and publish effective science and environmental writing. The Office of Green Initiatives will be advertising opportunities offered by Planet Forward to the Kenyon College community via email.
The Office of Green Initiatives is continuing to inventory the College's carbon emissions in order to begin solidifying a carbon neutrality plan. Data is be compiled from many sectors of the College to provide a holistic view of the current carbon footprint and shape the timeline to reduce the footprint to zero. The office is also beginning the drafting process of the carbon neutrality plan, due to come out in the spring of 2018.
The office has been building a relationship with the startup, U-Capture. This innovative program leverages online purchasing to fund third-party verifiable carbon offset projects. On our path to carbon neutrality, we know that we will have to consider offsets. By starting now with carbon-neutral transactions we are hoping to bring our target date closer to today. As an early adopter, the opportunity to work with U-Capture on local offset projects is significant. Find out more about the program.