Sustainability Plan Adds Even More Green to BGSU's Color Scheme

Bowling Green State University's campus sustainability department is one of the many university organizations consistently working on making an effective change. With the intent to achieve institutional carbon-neutrality by the year 2040, the university has established specific goals through its Climate Action Plan. These goals include reduction of emissions, waste reduction and resource conservation and education awareness and outreach.

As a result of the department's work toward reduction of emissions, the green roof at the Oaks Dining Facility has been implemented and active for the past eight years. The facility is considered to be a LEED building, which was previously awarded for various environmental features. This facility is also two of three buildings of its kind on campus.

Nick Hennessey, sustainability manager, said that the ranking is a success.

"It's pretty far up there on the rankings of green buildings," he said. Hennessey credits the green roof as one of the things to help the building get the status.

"From the very beginning, it was planned to be very sustainable in terms of its appearance, its construction and its operation," Hennessey said.

Similar to many projects within the department, the green roof was substantially funded by the Student Initiatives Green Fund.

The Student Green Initiative Fund is made possible by an opt-out $5 dollar per semester fee that is accessible to current undergraduate and graduate students.

Hennessey said the end result of the funds and student involvement with the green roof project was "a project that has a number of sustainable features that we use for education and outreach through the partnership with the university's dining."

Hennessey also said purpose of the green roof is not only sustain but to inform students, faculty and the community of the possibilities that are within the campus.

"We also demonstrate how we can grow vegetables on this location of campus (even with it) being relatively small. Yet, we grow food and we're pesticide free."

The green roof has other features such as using recycled products, being landscaped with non-edible plants and a rainwater reclamation system.

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