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Ohio State wins sustainability championship

While the Ohio State men’s basketball team was competing in the NCAA Tournament, other members of the university community were working toward a different championship title.

OSU was crowned the winner of the second annual Environmental March Madness Tournament early Tuesday, defeating other schools in the “Sustainable 16” after filing out initial surveys.

The tournament pitted universities against one another based on each college’s environmental curriculum and sustainability efforts and was organized by Enviance, an environmental software company.

As the 2013 national champion, OSU will be awarded a $5,000 grant for its Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) program. Its director will also get an all-expense paid trip to San Diego to attend the 2013 Enviance User Conference and be a part of a discussion panel in April.

Neil Drobny, program director for EEDS, said he entered OSU in the tournament because of the numerous sustainability projects on campus.

“The establishing of the EEDS Program was probably (the) No. 1 (reason),” Drobny said, whose program was introduced last fall. Drobny said OSU’s Olentangy River cleanup, purchasing of wind power and Fisher College of Business’ sustainability cluster also influenced his decision to enter.

The other three schools in the contest’s “Finest Four,” narrowed down by a judging panel from 16 to eight in a style similar to NCAA eliminations, were Colorado State University, which made last year’s Finest Four, George Mason University and University of Washington.



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