UC Sustainability

UC Sustainability


Timeline of sustainability at UC



  • The Office of Sustainability expanded by hiring a full-time Assistant Sustainability Coordinator.
  • The Bike Share System was revitalized and moved from the Campus Rec Center to the UC Bike Kitchen.
  • Ten new Bearcat Bike Share Bikes were acquired for check-out at the Bike Kitchen.
  • Dual unit recycling ErgoCan stations were implemented in Rieveschl. 
  • In June 2018, Market Pointe and On the Green Dining Halls both began to collect pre and post consumer food waste for composting.
  • In the spring of 2018, the Office of Sustainability began a partnership with the Bearcat Food Pantry to donate produce from the UC garden.


  • The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability's 2017 Sustainable Campus Index highlights UC for our work with innovative research at the Great Miami Groundwater Observatory
  • The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability's 2017 Sustainable Campus Index ranks UC as the top performer in the water category
  • The UC Bike Kitchen moves into its new home at 101 West Daniels St. underneath Dabney Hall
  • After completing UC's 2017 STARS Report, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognizes UC as a Gold level institution
  • The Department of Planning + Design + Construction acquires two electric bikes to encourage active, healthy transportation for staff members
  • The UC Bike Kitchen moved into a temporary location at 2908 Vine St.
  • Dual unit ErogoCan recycling stations were implemented in DAAP, Langsam Library, the Law complex, TUC, and Care/Crawley.



  • Due to explosive growth and popularity of the Bike Kitchen on campus, UC begins designing a new space for the Bike Kitchen
  • With the success of the ZipCar program, UC added another car to the fleet
  • The UCFM, a student led initiative, brought a pop-up Farmers Market to campus.


  • UC named to Princeton Review's list of top green colleges and universities for the 6th consecutive year
  • 2015 Green Business Award for energy conservation and alternative fuel strategies
  • Introduce Zimride, a new ridesharing platform to reduce SOV commuting



  • First STARS report submitted for a Silver rating
  • First annual Cincinnati Bike Show held on campus
  • UC named to Princeton Review's list of top green colleges and universities for the 5th consecutive year
  • UC's energy management strategy recognized in the International District Energy Association's Campus Energy Video Contest
  • First class of students earn their Environmental Literacy Certificate of Achievement
  • Thermal storage projects recognized at the Green Business Awards in the Green Building category





  • Finalist and Honorable Mention for Advocacy at the Green Business Awards for environmental literacy project
  • Collection and diversion of compostable material started at MarketPointe dining hall
  • 7th LEED certified (2nd LEED Silver) building completed (Morgens Residence Hall)
  • Paper pellet fuel research project conducted by Utilities, Environmental Science, and Engineering
  • GoBus and Baron's Bus stops added on campus
  • Styrofoam containers replaced with reusable containers in all dining halls
  • Third green roof on campus completed (DAA)
  • UC named to Princeton Review's list of top green colleges and universities for 4th consecutive year




  • Bearcat Bike Share expanded to UC East (Clermont County)
  • UC named to Princeton Review's list of top green colleges and universities for 3rd consecutive year
  • UC places in top 5 for water use reduction in Campus Conservation Nationals competition
  • Second green roof on campus completed (Procter Hall)
  • Environmental literacy certificate of achievement launched
  • UC named Duke Power Partner of the Year for conservation projects
  • Secure bike lockers and Fixit bike repair stations installed on campus
  • Megabus stop added on campus


  • UC wins 2011 Green Business Award for sustainable transportation policies and is finalist in green design category
  • UC included in the League of American Bicyclists' inaugural list of Bike Friendly Universities
  • UC receives inaugural Bike Friendly Destination designation from Queen City Bike and the City of Cincinnati
  • Zipcar car sharing introduced on campus
  • First Student Sustainability Summit held at Hueston Woods to build leadership capacity for students
  • UC earns Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award for demonstrating leadership and a commitment to protecting peoples' health and the environment


  • Bearcat Bike Share founded
  • UC Bike Kitchen created
  • UC Garden founded
  • Office of Sustainability created
  • PACES committee receives funding for student programs from Student Advisory Council on University Budget which helps allocate student activity revenue
  • President Williams includes sustainability as key component of UC 2019 Plan
  • UC named to Princeton Review’s list of top green colleges & universities
  • UC competes in first annual Campus Conservation Nationals
  • Board approves funds to expand recycling to all academic and residential buildings
  • First LEED Silver building completed
  • Bearcat Recycling expanded to all major events and  Athletics games
  • Sustainability Advocates and UC Bike Mechanic positions created


  • Full-time Sustainability Coordinator position created
  • Part-time Sustainability Assistant position created
  • UC completes Climate Action Plan for Uptown campus
  • UC Urban Farm founded
  • Sustainable food survey and focus groups started
  • Dining halls go trayless to conserve water, money and food
  • First “Green Up Day” held by Center for Community Engagement and Cincinnati Parks
  • UC participates in the National Teach-In on Global Warming


  • UC completes carbon footprint for Uptown campus
  • UC submits LEED certification for two more buildings (CARE and Teacher’s College/Dyer)
  • METRO*UC free bus pass program begins
  • Annual Energy Conference founded by College of Applied Science
  • UC participates in Focus the Nation with local and state leaders, webcasts and lectures
  • UC celebrates National Campus Sustainability Day with speakers and educational sessions
  • Trees for Tomorrow tree planting program begins
  • Farmers Market on MainStreet begins
  • Re*Use Market created to collect/distribute/donate used furniture and household items


  • Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) signed by UC President
  • Center for Sustaining the Urban Environment (SUE) founded
  • Board of Trustees approves additional $10 million for energy reduction initiative
  • President’s Advisory Council on Environment & Sustainability (PACES) becomes All-
    University Committee
  • Bi-annual Housing Conservation Challenge begins
  • Climate Commitment 101 lecture series begins
  • UC completes three LEED-certified buildings (Varsity Village, Campus Recreation Center,
    and Van Wormer Library)
  • Pitch In recycling competition begins
  • Pilot recycling program created by students in Government of Siddall Hall
  • “Clean Energy & Climate Change” film festival held
  • Operation Move-In Recycle founded to reduce waste during hall opening
  • UC begins participation in Keep Cincinnati Beautiful’s “Great American Cleanup”


  • UC adopts Comprehensive Policy on Environmental Sustainability (Administrative
    Memorandum 135)
  • UC completes first LEED-certified building (Steger Student Life Center)
  • Board of Trustees approves $8 million for energy reduction strategies
  • UC joins the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • President’s Advisory Council on Environment & Sustainability (PACES) formed
  • Facilities Management expands recycling program
  • LEAP is named “Best Student Group” by Cincinnati Earth Day Committee
  • DAAP students create college-based, volunteer-run recycling program


  • E-SAVE changes name to Leader for Environmental Awareness & Protection (LEAP)
  • Participation in Recyclemania begins
  • LEAP wins “Student Group of the Year” from UC Student Government


  • Co-generators added to Central Utility Plant


  • Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC), which would later become PACES,
    created after students meet with President
  • Students for Ecological Design (sed) founded
  • Central Utility Plant expanded


  • E-SAVE completes student survey on environmental sustainability attitudes and concerns
  • UC implements “Walk to Work” homeownership program


  • UC adopts Sustainable Design Policy (Administrative Memorandum 127)
  • UC joins United States Green Building Council (USGBC)


  • Environmental Students for Awareness, Volunteering & Education (E-SAVE) founded
  • Landscaped Campus Green and Sigma Sigma Commons replace 6-acre surface parking
    lot on West Campus


  • Environmental Studies program is created in the College of Arts & Sciences
  • Self-Directed Work Team on Sustainability forms to create green building criteria


  • UC wins EPA “Partner of the Year” Award


  • UC joins EPA “Greenlights” program
  • UC begins voluntary Energy Star purchasing program


  • Return-on-investments energy conservation program begins


  • On-campus coal-burning power plant decommissioned


  • New Central Utility Plant constructed


  • Recycling program begins on campus


  • UC celebrates inaugural Earth Day with week of events including speakers, forums,
    community discussions, a rally and an “Ecoffee House”


  • Students Organized Against Pollution (SOAP) founded
  • “Environmental Thing” coalition of student groups founded