State lauds university’s solar arrays, composting and food waste programs

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Kent State University with its platinum-level award for Encouraging Environmental Excellence. 

Kent State was one of 48 companies, schools or organizations in the state honored by the Ohio EPA for taking exceptional measures to protect Ohio’s environment and for continued commitment to environmental stewardship. 

Solar panels on top of Purinton Hall on Kent State's East Liverpool Campus.

Solar panels on the roof of Purinton Hall at Kent State's East Liverpool Campus.

Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program recognizes businesses and organizations through four levels: Achievement, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  

Kent State received the platinum-level award and was recognized for the solar array it maintains on top of the Field House on the Kent Campus, and other arrays at six Regional Campuses. In total, the solar arrays are projected to reduce carbon emissions by 4,116 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“Sustainability is important for a variety of reasons, and it really is about good financial stewardship and economic benefit,” said Melanie Knowles, Kent State’s manager of sustainability. “It is about benefitting our community, the people in our communities and also our local environment, as well as the global environment, so these are really win, win, win type of programs that benefit the university and the community.” 

The EPA also noted Kent State's robust organic diversion program, in which the university mulches and composts yard waste for re-use on campus, and for its food waste program, in which the university sends food waste from two Kent Campus dining facilities to be converted into energy, diverting 186.7 tons of food from the landfill.

"Kent State remains committed to being good stewards of our environment and staying on the forefront of innovations in sustainability," said  Doug Pearson, Ph.D., associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Operations. "This award is evidence of our diverse programs including environmental education, recycling, energy conservation, food waste to energy, renewable energies, sustainable design, green cleaning, and being a Tree Campus USA. Congratulations to the students and staff that helped Kent State earn this recognition."

“Ohio is the heart of sustainability, and we’re committed to recognizing those at the forefront of innovation and stewardship,” said Ohio EPA Director Anne M. Vogel. “We’re excited to reward companies that are helping children grow up in a safe environment and partnering to support the communities they call home. Their work inspires all of us to do more, and we are proud to share in their success.” 

Solar field at Kent State's Geauga Campus in Burton, Ohio.

Read more about Kent State's sustainability efforts. 


POSTED: Monday, September 25, 2023 08:27 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2023 08:29 AM