Ohio State Wins National Championship in Environmental March Madness

Enviance, Inc., in partnership with GreenBiz Group and Qualtrics, today announced that The Ohio State University has been chosen as the “National Champion” of the Second Annual Environmental March Madness tournament (#EnviroU). Through demonstrated excellence in environmental academics and sustainability, as well as outstanding student and faculty engagement in the tournament, Ohio State beat out Colorado State University, George Mason University and University of Washington to be named 2013’s “National Champion.” 

“In the 10 years I have been teaching at Ohio State, I have seen sustainability go from a topic that only a niche crowd cared about and even fewer knew the meaning of, to becoming an area that every department and college wants to work into its courses,” said Neil Drobny, director of Ohio State’s Environment, Economy, Development & Sustainability (EEDS) Program, the flagship of Ohio State’s academic sustainability initiatives in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. “It has been very gratifying to witness and support the change, and we’re thankful for Enviance’s decision to put together this competition.” 

As winner of this year’s tournament, the EEDS Program at Ohio State will receive an award of $5,000, and Drobny, who is also a lecturer in sustainable business practices at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State, will attend and speak at the Enviance User Conference in San Diego, on April 22-26, 2013. 

“Ohio State competed with power in every area of our competition. Their environmental and sustainability initiatives, including the Zero Waste initiative at Ohio Stadium, demonstrated important real-world applications of environmental and sustainability concepts,” said Lawrence Goldenhersh, CEO and president of Enviance. “The essays, videos and pictures documented intense involvement by students, faculty and facility staff in environmental programs, and the strong slate of environment and sustainability courses displayed the University’s ability to prepare its students for leadership in the environmental arena after college.” 

“To win this year’s Environmental March Madness tournament, Ohio State bested a strong field that included academic and athletic powerhouses like Michigan State and Colorado State and elite smaller school juggernauts like Middlebury College and George Mason,” continued Goldenhersh. “We congratulate Ohio State on its victory, and we salute all of the competitors for their commitment to training the environmental leaders of tomorrow.”

Ohio State’s EEDS Program cuts horizontally across the complete portfolio of courses at the university. Approximately 150 courses have been bundled to create the EEDS major, which has four specialization options: Sustainability in Business, Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis, Community Development, and International Development. All students in the major take two courses in each of the four specialization areas and then choose electives aligned with their specialization. The EEDS major is the fastest growing major on campus. The integration of a business component in the major has been well-received by potential employers and represents one of the many ways Ohio State provides opportunities to its environmental students.

Watch a video Ohio State students produced for the competition.

The Environmental March Madness tournament was designed to evaluate colleges and universities throughout the country on their environmental degree programs and curriculum, environmental opportunities for students, and campus sustainability efforts. Each school initially completed a survey, which was the basis of judging for the “Sustainable 16.” Those 16 schools were then given the chance to submit essays, photos and videos to the judges, for further consideration to be included in the “Environmental Eight.” The judges then evaluated all materials submitted throughout the tournament to determine the “Finest Four,” and ultimately the “National Champion.”

Judges for this year’s tournament are:

Jonathan Camuzeaux, Research Analyst, Office of Economic Policy and Analysis, Environmental Defense Fund
Rich Dailey, Senior Director, Environmental Health & Safety, Walmart
Lara Ettenson, Director of California Energy Efficiency Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council
Larry Goldenhersh, CEO, Enviance
Tom Vander Ark, Education Expert, Author and Executive Director, Getting Smart
Amy Westervelt, Contributor, Forbes
Blair Wimbush, Vice President, Real Estate and Corporate Sustainability Officer, Norfolk Southern

For more information on the Environmental March Madness Tournament, or to get details for next year’s competition, please email  Enviance@schwartzmsl.com or visit http://www.enviance.com/environmental-march-madness/default.aspx. You can also receive real-time updates on Twitter by following @Enviance and #EnviroU.

About Enviance
Enviance is the leading provider of Environmental ERP software, with more than 17,000 users in 49 countries. Our comprehensive solutions have been developed, tested and proven by serving the world’s leading corporations and government organizations for over a decade. As the world business community faces increasing sustainability challenges, Enviance Environmental ERP solutions enable organizations to measure, manage, report environmental performance and compliance needs. The Enviance system leverages cloud computing technology to deliver its Environmental ERP platform online in real-time — anytime, anywhere and enterprise-wide. Founded in 1999, privately held Enviance is based in Carlsbad, California.

About GreenBiz Group
GreenBiz Group defines and accelerates the business of sustainability. GreenBiz Group is an integrated media company focused on supporting professionals who view sustainable practices as a core part of their businesses. GreenBiz is focused on telling the stories, providing the insights and advancing the sustainability profession through GreenBiz.com, GreenBiz Events, GreenBiz Intelligence, and GreenBiz Connects.

About Qualtrics
Qualtrics is a leading global provider of enterprise data collection and analysis products for market research, voice of customer, employee performance, and academic research. Through an intuitive, easy- to-use interface and award-winning services and support, Qualtrics products enable both professional and DIY researchers to conduct quantitative research at a lower cost and in less time than competing alternatives. Founded in 2002, Qualtrics has more than 5,000 clients worldwide, including half of the Fortune 100, over 1,300 colleges and universities, and 95 of the top 100 business schools.