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  1. Archived info - previous background

    Associated Project(s): 

    IV. Tomorrow's University Today: 4. Become a model of environmental sustainability

    We will incorporate practices that reduce our carbon footprint and  build a System-wide culture of environmental care, supporting the efforts of our universities and campuses to achieve carbon neutrality over the next three to four decades. To do this, our universities and regional campuses will actively seek:

    • Climate neutrality by increasing building energy efficiency, achieving LEED certification for construction and renovations, enhancing the efficiency of campus fleets and shuttle buses, and becoming more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
    • Zero waste by increasing waste diversion rates, reducing bottled water use, and increasing the number of green-certified campus events.
    • Net zero water use by managing and reducing storm water runoff within parking lots and structures and reducing water use through more efficient technology and practices.
    • Campus biodiversity by promoting the use of local produce, increasing tree canopy size and the diversity of plants on campus, and using sustainable landscaping practices.
  2. Archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    In 2015-16, University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen led an initiative to develop a System-wide strategic framework to chart the institution's path to the future and build on the U of I's rich legacy of service to students and to the public good. The development process was a team effort involving all of the U of I's stakeholders.

    The resulting strategic framework was approved at the May 19, 2016 meeting of the U of I Board of Trustees. The framework calls for the U of I System to organize its world-class resources around four strategic pillars:

    I. An Institution of and for Our Students

    II. Research and Scholarship with Global Impact

    III. A Healthy Future for Illinois and the Midwest

    IV. Tomorrow's University Today

  3. Illini Lights Out goes home

    Associated Project(s): 

    You can start this weekend by participating in two virtual events. On Friday we're debuting "Illini Lights Out Goes Home" to encourage people to shut off their own lights at home to save energy. And we ask you to join the national Earth Hour celebration on Saturday by going dark for one hour from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Learn more about both events below.


    In accordance with campus safety guidelines, iSEE had to suspend all in-person events this semester, including the Spring 2020 Illini Lights Out series and activities related to Earth Month in April. A March 26 symposium on polar exploration, print culture and climate change, co-sponsored by iSEE and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, is among hundreds of campus events also postponed.

    But we are transitioning some of our Earth Month activities to an online format, and in the meantime our calendar has other ways for you to celebrate sustainability from the comforts of home!

    We will keep the Illinois Sustainability Calendar as up-to-date as possible, so please check back regularly there and in our upcoming newsletters for details! In the meantime, we want to extend thanks for your patience during these challenging times. We will continue to promote sustainability and the environment wherever we can!


    Check It Out: iSEE Sustainability Events Going Virtual!

  4. FY19 Green Power Partnership renewal submitted

    F&S completed the renewal of our recognition as a Green Power Partner through the US Environmental Protection Agency. Green Power Partners of our scale now have to use renewable power for seven percent of their annual consumption, an increase from the previous requirement of three percent. Fortunately, the FY19 green power supply for FY19 was 7.28%.  See attached file.

    Overview submitted: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, as documented in the Illinois Climate Action Plan. The first project was a 32.76 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the Business Instructional Facility in 2009. The 14.7 kW PV array, ground mounted at the Building Research Council, is a research platform for the Information Trust Institute. The most significant on-campus renewable energy generation project to date went into operation in December 2015, with the completion of the 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm, producing approximately 7,200 MWh/year. In December 2015 another solar array was installed on the new Wassaja Residence Hall roof with a capacity of 33 kW. In September 2016, campus signed a ten-year Wind Power Purchase Agreement for 25 million kWh/year. Most recently, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building had 970 rooftop panels installed. Since production began in April 2019, 11% of all power supplied to the ECE Building has been from the rooftop panels, not including the panels that are used for student-oriented research. The University will soon be home to Solar Farm 2.0, which is projected to produce 20,000 MWh/year, nearly tripling on-site production.

  5. Check out the I-Pollinate citizen science research initiative

    I-Pollinate is a citizen science research initiative, through the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, designed to collect state-wide pollinator data. I-Pollinate enlists citizen scientists to participate in three research projects and collect data on monarch egg and caterpillar abundance, pollinator visitation to ornamental flowers, and state bee demographics. If you are interested in participating and want more information, visit the website site at

  6. Arbor Day Celebration to be alternate format

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello Tree Campus USA Committee,

    Thanks to those of us who were able to join the web-call this morning.  Here are brief notes about our discussion and next steps:

    • I shared that the Arbor Day Foundation has removed the requirement for a proclamation and celebration this year.  We discussed options and decided to still do something online for Arbor Day.
      • Andrew is going to talk with Mike Brunk about the process he had gone through for the proclamation, and let us know if he thinks we should proceed this time with trying to get a proclamation signed by the mayors and chancellor.
      • I am going to take the lead on identifying something that we can do online this spring.  Please send me any suggestions you have. Here are some we discussed this morning:
        • Jay suggested an infographic
        • Meredith suggested a connection to the Earth Month Bingo event that iSEE is hosting
        • I suggested sharing information about how to plant a tree
        • Kevin suggested including information about how to trim trees for private property
        • The Arbor Day Foundation sent the note below after our call, and they intend to provide some resources for ideas
    • Kevin and Ryan shared that their staff are not at work now, with the exception of a few employees watching the trees for safety purposes.

    Our next group meeting is April 27 at 9am, but we will be in touch during the next few weeks to finalize plans for April 24th.

    Thank you,

    Message from the Arbor Day Foundation:

  7. Spring 2020 collection cancelled

    Associated Project(s): 

    Due to concerns about volunteer safety, the stay-at-home order for Illinois, and anticipated continuation of the COVID-19 social distancing, we are officially cancelling the Dump and Run collection from University Housing this spring.  

    I am very sorry that this is the case, and I hope that all of you are safe and staying calm during this crisis.

    We intend to still hold our next group meeting on April 14 at 1pm, via telephone.  We will discuss options at that time for providing some of the benefits from the fall sale to our future incoming students.  We will also include an update from Shantanu about the preparatory work that can occur this spring and summer.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or concerns which we should also address during our next group meeting.

    Thank you and best wishes,

  8. Archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University YMCA has coordinated a waste reduction program called "Dump and Run" since the early 2000's.  At student move-out, hundreds of volunteers help collect the reusable materials for resale after summer break.  Then the weekend before school starts, the YMCA's staff and volunteers sell the materials at a massive "garage sale" in the Stock Pavillion.  The University YMCA is a local non-profit, and they work with the International Student and Scholar Services department on campus, as well as University Housing.

  9. Earth Hour

    Associated Project(s): 

    On Saturday, March 28, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. CDT, individuals, businesses, and organizations from around the world will switch off their lights for just one hour to conserve energy and show support for the planet. This excellent social distancing activity can be done in your own home while joining the global movement launched in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund. To participate in our campus-wide effort of solidarity for the earth, RSVP to ILLINOIS Earth Hour on Facebook or learn more at

  10. Trans010 Mode Switch Survey - Successful

    The Transportation SWATeam made the recommendation below, which was transmitted to iSEE and approved at an iSEE Management Meeting. Meredith Moore is in communication with Julie Cidell regarding moving forward with this initiative. 

    "The Transportation SWATeam kindly requests the creation of a survey which would question faculty and staff who travel out of town for conferences or other university-sponsored activities on their decided mode of transportation. This survey would be voluntary and facilitated by the Transportation SWATeam. An example of a question would be something like: 'In the past year, what has been the main reason for the travel you selected?'"

    See the submittal of Trans010 Mode Switch Survey here.

    See the recommendation for the Trans010 Mode Switch Survey here. 

  11. Ethics training update 3/19/2020

    A small task force has been meeting weekly to discuss the content and implementation of the sustainability component within the ethics training. 


    We are proposing to begin the training with four (or maybe three, if we drop one) questions along these lines, with the purpose being to get people’s attention and draw them in; each of these questions contains an interesting fact:


    1. Did you know that the U of I campus currently sends about 55,000 pounds of waste to the landfill each day?


    2. Did you know that some coffee (or other liquid) left in a cup can contaminate an entire bag of otherwise recyclable materials so that the entire bag is sent to the landfill? 


    3. Did you know that every ton of recycled paper saves about 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water, and the energy needed to power the average U.S. home for six months?


    4. Did you know that the U of I campus is committed to net zero emissions by 2050 (or earlier if possible)? (“net zero emissions” should be explained or other wording used)


    (Perhaps use this wording as we introduce the above questions: “some questions for you”)



    Next we provide information from the 2020 iCAP that bears on each of these questions and the fact it contains. (Perhaps use this wording as we introduce this information: “some details you may be interested to learn”) Start with a brief explanation of the scope and aims of the 2020 iCAP (2020 Illinois Climate Action Plan).


    Further information re #1: The 2020 iCAP commits our campus to a comprehensive Zero Waste Program/Plan by XXXX. This is the U.S. EPA definition of Zero Waste:  

    [Zero Waste means the] conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health. … Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

    Zero Waste Campus means sending nothing to a landfill or incinerator.  Add something re how far we currently are from Zero Waste.


    Further information re #2: Perhaps include something here about the practice of checking all

    materials that are placed in recycling containers to make sure there is no contamination. Also some general info re recycling such as this: The 2020 iCAP commits our campus to having recycling bins everywhere they are needed across campus by SP21. (Confirm date in final draft of iCAP.)


    Further information re #3: The 2020 iCAP commits our campus to achieving this goal:


    By the end of SP21, applicable staff will have been educated on proper sustainability goal metrics, standards, and policies; at least 50% of purchases of products like office paper, cleaning products, computers, other electronics, and freight/package delivery services must be sustainable to meet campus standards by FY21, and 75% by FY25. (Note: this wording is from an early draft of the iCAP.)


    Perhaps this is a good place to include more information about the benefits of recycling and about what can currently be recycled on campus.


    Further information re #4:

    Explain here the iCAP target of zero GHG emissions. Explain what this means and some of its implications, using the wording from the 2020 iCAP. Use wording in “Targets” section of Energy SWATeam’s contribution to iCAP). Add something re how far we currently are from achieving zero GHG emissions.


    Next – and after enough information about current steps and goals has been provided - extend an invitation to reflect about what each of us on campus can do or are already doing; also how the campus can do better. (Another option discussed: move this invitation to the end of the training and combine it with the invitation to be involved.)


    Next:  A section on laws, policies, resources, information with lots of links.


    Last: invitation to people taking the training to be involved. 


  12. Archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Earth Day – April 22, 2015 marked the 45th anniversary of the environmental movement. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in Earth Day campaigns every year.  On our campus, we typically celebrate the entire week. Earth Week is a time to enact change and real movement toward consciousness about how our decisions affect our campus environment and the planet. Earth Week activities are coordinated by Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) and co-sponsored by iSEE. iSEE will continue to support Earth Day activities.


    As of March 18, 2020, iSEE is sponsoring a full Earth Month in response to COVID-19.  Thus, the Earth Week project is being moved to under the Earth Month project in the iCAP Portal. ~Morgan

  13. Planning underway, amidst COVID-19 changes

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,
    Shantanu and I have held a few planning meetings with Marc and Kasey from the YMCA for Dump & Run.  We’ve talked with F&S communicators and the staff who will be clearing out of the space we intend to use.  Shantanu has put together a draft communications plan, and he identified an improved collection container which we can purchase with the Student Sustainability Committee funds.  We also began planning for a community drop off location that would not be at the F&S building.
    On Friday, Bryan Johnson arranged a quick phone call with Shantanu, Bryan, me, and Joe Glass at Housing.  We discussed the changes in campus and the anticipated student behavior, related to living in the residence halls.  We talked about the potential for several students leaving at random dates throughout the remainder of the semester, and how we could potentially still collect materials.  We also talked about the possibility of needing to cancel entirely for this year.  Ultimately, that decision will need more clarity about who is here in May.  Because we will not know which students choose to come back to campus after spring break until at least March 23, we are going to have a follow up discussion on 3/25.  
    In the meantime, I am cancelling the meeting we had scheduled for tomorrow.  Our next group meeting will be on April 14 at 1pm, and it will be a Skype call.
    Thank you,