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All Project Updates


  1. Dibbs students meet with sustainability staff

    Associated Project(s): 

    Ximing Cai and Morgan White met with students Sohinee Oswal and Devaki Belwalkar about their food waste reduction app "Dibbs."  We discussed the possibility of connecting their efforts with iCAP objectives.  They are focused primarily on grocery stores, so the best option for working together is for Dibbs to connect with Dining Services and their convenience stores (Chomps, 57 North, and Penn Station).

  2. Recycled-content paper purchasing

    Hi SWATeam,

    I’m working with two interns, Kate Gardiner and Hursh Hazari, to address the recycled content paper habits on campus.  Hursh did an analysis of the paper purchases by college from FY15, and we are seeking updated data from OBFS.  That is attached in excel here.

    Kate is working on putting the policy in the CAM format, and the first stab of that is attached here.

    We just got off the phone with one of the F&S folks who orders paper, and she always orders from Office Max in iBuy.  She showed us (shared her screen) how she places the order in office max and got the current pricing for us.  Then she went into iStores from F&s and got the price for 30% recycled content paper.  She said she doesn’t usually go into F&S stores (“iStores”), and it isn’t a punchout in iBuy.  I had thought it was, but we couldn’t find it on the screen (see attached photo).  She couldn’t find the virgin paper pricing in F&S Stores, so we got off the phone and I logged into iStores to get that price. Here are the prices per ream:


    Office Max – virgin paper $3.10

    Office Max – 30% rec. content $3.55, which is 15% higher


    iStores – virgin paper $2.97

    iStores – 30% recycled content $3.03, which is 2% higher


    Comparing Office Max virgin paper to iStores 30%recycled content paper, users could save 7 cents per ream by switching.  Also, Office Max pricing is based on buying at least 10 reams (or one case), and iStores has that pricing for any quantity, even just one ream.

    HOWEVER, it is apparently pretty difficult to use iStores.  Can one of the staff or faculty on your team try to login to iStores and see if you need to get special permission to access it?  I already had access, but that could have been from sometime in my past 20 years on campus.  The logon is at

    Any and all feedback on the other documents is of course welcome.




  3. Transportation iCAP efforts in progress

    Hello Transportation SWATeam members,

    Thank you again for your willingness to help our campus achieve the Climate Leadership Commitments.  There is great value provided by the bi-weekly meetings of student, faculty, and staff representatives evaluating our progress and recommending additional actions campus units could take.

    The following is a list of current activities I am aware of, and suggestions I have about useful next steps.  I am happy to follow up with you on any of these, as needed.

    Thank you very much,



    1. EV analysis for department’s assigned vehicles – Hursh Hazari worked with Pete Varney’s data to evaluate the possibility of replacing some fleet vehicles with EVs.
    2. Pete Varney has established the F&S fleet as a certified green fleet.  Pete, do you create an annual report for the status of that which you can share?  If not, can you provide an update to the SWATeam and to me? 
    3. Last year the SWATeam discussed encouraging additional campus units to get certified as green fleets.  Your team could submit a recommendation for another unit (or more than one) to pursue that certification. 
    4. New EV Chargers – Scott Willenbrock is working on one at the Illini Union + Phil Krein is interested in getting more Type 1 chargers for the North Campus Parking Deck.
    5. Potential EV Study – At the Oct. 11 Workshop for the Living Lab research connections to iCAP, there will be seed funding offered and the study for transitioning to EVs could collect and use data on campus vehicle use.  Pete has example data, which could be used to support the request for seed funding, which could then possibly fund data collection for the study.
    6. We do not yet have new air travel emission data.  iSEE is working on creating a virtual storeroom to offer carbon offsets to campus units to voluntarily buy air travel offsets.  The storeroom has funding for the first 10,000 offsets, but I understand there was a hurdle on selecting appropriate offsets with additionality.  I recommend asking Ben McCall and Scott Willenbrock about it.
    7. A new Mode split survey is needed as soon as possible.  Lily Wilcock intends to bring this as an item for discussion.  We would appreciate it if you would help define the survey questions, and then iSEE can help distribute the survey to get updated figures. 
    8. Bike Plan – I suggest you ask Stacey DeLorenzo to join one of your meetings to give an overview of the status of the Bike Plan infrastructure upgrades.
    9. Lily has funding for a Bike at Illinois website, which Creative Services will develop in the winter and spring months this fiscal year. 
    10. Lily has worked with MTD to offer bus tours to show campus staff how to use the MTD.  We teach all our new student how to ride, but none of the new employees get the personal introduction.  These tours are very successful, when they are organized with a specific department or location. 
    11. Bike Parking – there is a significant capacity issue, which is noticeable just by looking around campus, especially during class hours in the core area.  Lily has a new website that she can show you, and there is an upcoming Bike Census, which your team members should help with.
    12. Bike Sharing – a handful of dockless bike sharing companies are wanting to come to town/campus.  To manage their impacts (imagine bikes in the boneyard) they will be required to obtain city permits.  Lily is asking the SSC to use the funds they allocated to bike sharing for additional bike parking areas in the heart of campus.
    13. MCORE – this project has several impacts on multi-modal transportation.  You can learn more at
  4. ALUFS iCAP efforts in progress

    Hello ALUFS SWATeam members,

    Thank you again for your willingness to help our campus achieve the Climate Leadership Commitments.  There is great value provided by the bi-weekly meetings of student, faculty, and staff representatives evaluating our progress and recommending additional actions campus units could take.

    The following is a list of current activities I am aware of, and suggestions I have about useful next steps.  I am happy to follow up with you on any of these, as needed.

    Thank you very much,





    1.      Ag Emissions – During the 2015 iCAP process, we included the goal to reevaluate the emissions from ACES and create a new emissions baseline for south farms.  This effort was not started, but there is still an opportunity to do such an evaluation.  I believe Madhu Khanna and Evan DeLucia would be good resources for this evaluation, and perhaps Ximing could help facilitate it.

    2.      Best Management Practices (BMPs) - The previous SWATeam considered dropping the Ag Emissions evaluation objective and adding one to encourage use of Best Management Practices for south farms.  The BMPs are an important aspect for increasing campus sustainability, and the concept should be extended to include land that is leased out to other farmers within the campus boundaries (if any). 

    3.      Sustainable Plantings – Brent has made progress on the campus plant lists.  It would be helpful to have a map of existing native planting areas on campus, in GIS format.  We can provide the map of low mow zones as a starting point.

    4.      Once there is a map, additional locations can be suggested for pollinator pockets, to support monarch butterflies and other pollinators.  Such locations can also include spaces that would reduce difficulty for the Grounds crew in riding mowers, such as nooks and crannies on campus, as well as steep slope areas.

    5.      I suggest you invite Eliana Brown to give an overview of the efforts underway for the Red Oak Rain Garden.

    6.      The Campus Master Plan is in final review and will be moving toward Board of Trustee approval.  The website is at, but I’m not sure if they will have another review draft for the public.

    7.      Local Food – great work in Dining!  I’m curious what the current percentage is from FY17.

    8.      We need to look at what we are doing for other campus food areas, such as coffee shops and small cafes.  Your team could submit a recommendation about local food for dining in one or more of the non-housing areas.

    9.      Soil sequestration – Other than prairies and trees, are there sequestration efforts campus should consider? 

    10.  To reduce nitrate in Ag. Runoff, I suggest your team look at applicable recommendations in Nitrate Reduction Plan, and suggest the most promising ones for campus to implement. 

    11.  At one point, we considered woody bioreactors in South Farms – see  These are still an option, I just didn’t have time to move it forward in 2014.

    12.  The Now Mow Zones were renamed Low Mow Zones, and there will be a press release and F&S website update to reflect the locations and benefits.

    13.  Brent Lewis can share an update about the use of more electric equipment for Grounds operations.

    14.  An updated Tree Inventory has been funded.  Brent is working on getting two quotes, so that the purchase order can proceed and the efforts can be started.

  5. Update from Gopal Pareek

    Gopal met with Professor Cheryl L. Cole about her work with the Green Sports Alliance.  She is also a teacher in RST.  He also is working on getting meetings with the SWATeams, to consider how DIA can help with the iCAP objectives. 

    Today, Gopal and Morgan White reviewed the data from the Energy Billing System for each of the DIA facilities, and discussed next steps for finalizing the energy and water reports, and coordinating them into the Building-Level Energy Report Card format.

    We also reviewed the template needs for the report card with Dee Dee Caneva at F&S, to make changes that would simplify the user's experience with the template.

  6. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, The big event for last week was an unruly member who I had to kick out of the shop on Wednesday. Other than that, the week went smoothly.

    Lily and I tabled at the Volunteer Fair in the Union on Tuesday. We got a dozen or so signatures (maybe more?) for general volunteer interest in the Campus Bike Center and help with Light The Night.

    On Wednesday, I got a count of the bikes that we’ll be donating from the Bike Warehouse to Working Bikes. This year a portion of the bikes will be going to Houston to help with hurricane relief. Tally for the bikes was 332, give or take.  I will be coordinating with Working Bikes and Parking this week to finalize a date.

    This week is Light The Night on Tuesday. I will close the shop for the event. The signs for the event were dropped off on Friday.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 131
    Sales: $1,584.85
    Memberships:  24 for $720
    Bikes (Build-a-Bikes): 2 for $171
    Bikes (Refurbished): 0
    Tires/Tubes: 36 for $196


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. Battery Recycling Instructions and Locations Updated

    Battery recycling instructions were updated to indicate that "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" should be included in address information provided to Call2Recycle. The inclusion will allow for reporting of volumes of batteries recycled through the program across the campus.

    Battery recycling locations were updated.

  8. Pursuing Resources for Transporting Gloves to Trailer

    Associated Project(s): 

    Having a resource to transport gloves from the locations where they are used to the centralized collection point (a trailer at the Physical Plant) would help boost participation in the glove recycling program. Staff and volunteer resources are being explored at present.

  9. RainWorks Challenge - call for participants

    We are currently looking for more members for the EPA's Campus RainWorks Challenge. We will be looking into green infrastructure projects that could be implemented on campus.

    "The Campus RainWorks Challenge seeks to engage with undergraduate and graduate students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices."

    We have a interdisciplinary team of faculty advisers. Our primary faculty adviser will be  Professor Arthur Schmidt from Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering.

    We are also hoping to have an interdisciplinary team, so all majors are welcome, as long as you have a passion for the project. 

    Teams will be finalized on September 30th. If you're interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Jessica Wiegand at or Cindy Chen at

  10. EGen SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    The Energy Generation, Purchasing, & Distribution SWATeam met for the first time of the FY2017 on September 21. They revised their focus topics for the year and reviewed progress on current projects, such as on the rooftop solars on the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, the Speech and Hearing Building, and the Business and Instruction Facility. Finally, EGen also discussed the possibility of building a second solar farm in order to further meet iCap goals. 

    Attached Files: