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A royal partner

September 06, 2016

Prince Albert II of Monaco, a world-renowned environmentalist, recently came to Ohio State to meet sustainability-minded students and learn about the university's award-winning Zero Waste program.

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Michael V.Drake, Prince Albert, Bruce McPheron

Prince Albert II of Monaco came to Ohio State with a message for students: It’s up to you to embrace the alternative energy that he believes will steer the world away from global disaster.

“We are talking about a fundamental change in our habits and our mentalities,” the prince told the audience gathered at the Mershon Auditorium. “We are currently at the very beginning of this adventure and it will be up to your generation to lead it to its conclusion.”

The prince has a global reputation as an steward of the environment: In 2006, he created the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, focused on environmental, climate and sustainability projects and research.

He lauded Ohio State’s "green" efforts during his remarks and a roundtable discussion with Ohio State President Michael V. Drake and Provost Bruce McPheron. During the discussion, the leaders touched on the varied ways Ohio State is addressing the societal challenge, from research to programs to ensuring student success in the realm.

Exploring Ohio State successes

Prince Albert II of Monaco (left) is greeted by Ohio State President Michael V. Drake at the beginning of his visit to the university on Tuesday, August 30. Looking on is Congresswoman Joyce Beatty.
Prince Albert II of Monaco poses in Ohio Stadium with Buckeye Olympians (from left) Aina Cid I Centelles, Blake Haxton and gold medalist Kyle Snyder on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.
Prince Albert II of Monaco greets an Ohio Stadium staff member while learning about the facility's Zero Waste initiative on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.
Prince Albert II of Monaco meets with Ohio State's renowned climatologists Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley Thompson at the Byrd Polar Research Center on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.
Prince Albert II of Monaco visits with student members of Ohio State's Formula Buckeyes, a student organization that designs, builds and races a formula-style race car.
Prince Albert II of Monaco meets with Ohio State faculty and students who are explaining progress on Buckeye Current, an electric motorcycle developed at Ohio State's Center for Automotive Research.

The address at Mershon was toward the end of a whirlwind 24 hours for the prince, who visited the campus to learn about the breadth and progress of the university’s sustainability practices. Of particular interest: Ohio Stadium's award-winning Zero Waste program, which diverts more than 90 percent of game-day waste from landfills. Monaco is in the process of upgrading and expanding its Louis II Stadium, and Prince Albert sees Ohio Stadium's Zero Waste successes as an inspiration.

At the Shoe, Prince Albert met Tom Price, a 1964 graduate of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Price’s Organic Farms composts the food scraps left behind on game days, a haul that includes one ton of hot dogs and buns each game.

“That’s pretty impressive when a head-of-state, somebody on that big of a stage, takes an interest in these issues,” Price said.

Byrd Polar Climate Research Center Prince Albert II of Monaco speaks with a researcher at Ohio State's Byrd Polar Climate Research Center.

The visit also included stops at Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Climate Research Center and the Center for Automotive Research, where the Venturi Buckeye Bullet electric car was built. Venturi, an electric automobile manufacturer based in Monaco and a close environmental ally of the prince, sponsored the research that led to the car’s development and has continued to work side-by-side with students throughout the vehicle's design, build and testing.

A commitment to sustainability

Ohio State’s sustainability infrastructure is growing, said Sam Reed, a senior and the Undergraduate Student Government sustainability director. Reed cited the formal establishment of sustainability goals last year as more evidence of the institution's commitment.

See more evidence of sustainable Ohio State — from "green" rooftops to living learning communities to wetlands research — at our interactive sustainability map of campus.