AASHE Member

UCO Sustainability

windmills and windfarmsWelcome to the UCO Sustainability page! Here you can follow our progress toward a more sustainable, livable campus community.

Any conversation about sustainability must begin with a common definition. In the book Toward a Sustainable Future, sustainability is defined as "the ability to provide for the needs of the current generation without compromising the the ability of future generations to meet their needs".

Achieving sustainability requires attention to three elements: social justice, healthy environments and strong economies. Here at UCO, we strive to create an environment where all three of these elements are celebrated.

Toward a strong economy:

 In 2002 UCO entered into a partnership with Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) on a Performance Contract. The concept consisted of a plan whereby JCI would identify work that could be accomplished on campus which would save energy through the use of more efficient equipment, reduce wastes, etc. UCO obtained money through bonds to pay for the work to be accomplished and used it to pay JCI. As a result of the work they performed, the university's utility bills were reduced. Those savings were used to make the bond payments. After four phases of work and approximately $14 M of investment in its infrastructure, UCO has saved over $4 M above and beyond the funds needed to repay the bonds, plus has new, start of the art, reliable, energy efficient equipment in place of antiquated systems of the past.

Examples of the types of work accomplished include the following:

-          Energy efficient chillers and boilers

-          Motion detectors to control lights

-          Thermal energy storage tank

-          Energy efficient lights/ ballasts

-          Generators to reduce electrical demand load

-          Reduced water consumption

-          Energy misers on vending machines

-          Energy Management Control System for HVAC automation

Renewable Energy

In 2006 UCO began purchasing wind power through Edmond Electric, UCO's electrical supplier program known as Pure and Simple Wind power. Later after realizing that there were utility costs to be had, UCO increased its purchases so that 100% of its electrical needs were being supplied by wind generators. To date over $50,000 savings have been realized. Depending upon the pricing structure and related fuel costs, there will be a time where UCO will pay a premium for this privilege to use wind power; however, there will continue to be times when UCO will save money through the program. UCO is currently investigating the possibility of obtaining a wind power generator for installation on campus, for use not only in reducing it's electrical demand, but also for demonstration and educational purposes.

Solar power and geothermal systems are being investigated for future use on campus as well.


Classes and Community Activities

UCO offers numerous classes pertaining to environmental issues and sustainability. Offerings may change from one semester to the next based on demand, however, the following list indicates those which have been available in the recent past:

BIO               2263            Environmental Biology

BIO               3544            Ecology and Lab

BIO                4334            Environmental Microbiology

BIO                4204            Plant Ecology and Lab

ECON            4713            Resource Economics

HLTH             3162            Environmental Health

MGMT          4813            Strategic Management/ Business Policy

NURS             4124            Community Health Nursing

GEO               3703             Conservation of Natural Resources

GEO               4813             Geographic Current Events

POL                4423             Environmental Politics

SFTY               3633             International Safety

SFTY               4123             Industrial Safety 1

SFTY               4163             Environmental Safety

SFTY               4323             Underground Storage Tank Management

SFTY               4333             Storm Water Management