Antioch College recognized for sustainability

YELLOW SPRINGS — Antioch College in Yellow Springs has been recognized as a top performer in the 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving a second place rating in top performing institutions for Grounds as well as achieving a seventh place rating as a top performing institution for Food & Dining among STARS-ranked institutions.

The Sustainable Campus Index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), highlights top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the sustainability tracking, assessment and rating system (STARS).

“This noteworthy achievement represents national recognition for the many outstanding ways Antioch College engages in sustainability,” said Antioch College President Tom Manley.

As an Area of Practice for the College, sustainability is lived and applied throughout the experiences of students, faculty, and staff on campus and often off campus as well. Antioch College achieved top performer status by earning a high score in the Grounds and Food and Dining subcategories in STARS.

The Antioch College Campus Landscape Master Plan specifies management without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Native plantings and bio-retention methods are used across the campus, which, along with the Antioch Farm, serve as learning spaces as well. The Antioch Farm, which comprises 9 acres of growing and grazing land, uses campus leaves, vegetable dining scraps, animal manure and other local “waste” products to create a nutrient-rich soil. Farming methods used at the Farm meet the USDA organic standards, and are also informed by ecological, biodynamic, and permaculture practices. Innovative practices, like the College’s solar sheep, provide multiple benefits to the landscape and students’ learning.

Antioch College prioritizes direct purchases from local small farmers and organic growers. The Antioch Kitchens participate in the real food challenge, serving 61 percent real food. All food from the Antioch Farm is harvested for campus dining halls, and at least 28 percent of the locally-sourced seasonal produce served in the dining halls is raised on the farm. On-campus dining at the college is institution-run and hires student employees. The Antioch Kitchens policy examines and analyzes issues surrounding our modern food system and provides goals in response to those issues, including serving only in-season foods and providing equitably priced meals to students.

“We are pleased to recognize Antioch College for its sustainability leadership,” said AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Antioch College is helping forge a path to a more sustainable future.”

The College recently announced achieving a Silver STARS rating after submitting a report to AASHE for the first time earlier this year. Antioch College’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.