You are here

Projects Updates for Issue Press Releases and Sustainability Reports

Search tips:
  • This form will search for words in the title OR the description. If you would like to search for the same term(s) across both the title and description, enter the same search term(s) in both fields.
  • This form will search for any of the words you enter in a field, not the exact phrase you enter. If you would like to search for an exact phrase, put double quotes (") around the phrase. For example, if you search for Bike Path you will get results containing either the word Bike OR the word Path, but if you search for "Bike Path" you will get results containing the exact phrase Bike Path.


  1. Chancellor Signs Resilience Commitment

    Illinois a Green Campus Leader as Chancellor Signs Climate Resilience Commitment

    MARCH 3, 2016 — The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took on a leadership role to more actively respond to global climate change when Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson signed Second Nature’s Climate Resilience Commitment in February.

    Illinois is a Charter Signatory of the Second Nature Climate Commitment, which combines a Carbon Commitment the campus signed in 2008 with the newly signed Resilience Commitment. The full Climate Commitment formally acknowledges that the effects of climate change are already felt — and that universities and colleges must pursue both mitigation and adaptation to combat the unfolding crisis.

    By adding the Resilience Commitment, Illinois has made a pledge to evaluate campus vulnerabilities to a changing climate in its landscapes, natural resources, and energy production — and to make an action plan that addresses those weaknesses.

    In 2015, Illinois released an updated Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) reporting its progress toward emissions reduction and other campus sustainability goals and outlining a new path to reaching net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible, but no later than 2050.

    “While the iCAP is a plan for how campus impacts the atmosphere and climate, the resilience plan will be about how the campus reacts to atmosphere and climate change,” said Evan DeLucia, Director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

    Resilience is a measure of the ability to react to and recover from difficult circumstances. Resilient communities bend but do not break under pressure, he said.

    Wilson, who signed the document Feb. 9, said: “Signing the Resiliency Commitment is a natural extension of our efforts to carefully steward university resources. By planning ahead, we can prepare for a range of potential challenges presented by climate change — whether social, financial, or ecological.

    “We’re positioning ourselves to be the kind of nimble and responsive university that can deliver on our educational and research missions for generations to come.”

    DeLucia said that carrying out the terms of the commitment will create a more holistic picture of sustainability on campus.

    “I think this commitment will make us think about sustainability in a broader way,” he said. “Rather than only asking, ‘How much renewable energy do we use?’ we’ll also be asking ‘Do we have a diverse enough pool of energy resources so that if one fails, the entire system doesn’t fail?’ It will be less about being ‘green’ and more about being truly sustainable.”

    A PDF of the Resilience Commitment — complete with Wilson’s signature — can be viewed on iSEE’s website.
    Second Nature is a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience mobilizing institutions of higher education to lead the way to a more just, healthy, and sustainable society. It sponsors the Climate, Resilience, and Carbon commitments and oversees reporting of the signatory institutions’ progress toward their goals.


  2. Chancellor Blog: Sustainability at Illinois

    Dear Colleagues,

    In the midst of a cold winter, it may seem ironic to discuss our sustainability efforts on campus. But it seemed like the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to see where we have gone and where we are going. In the quest to become a pre-eminent research university with a land-grant mission and global impact, integrating sustainable practices in our research, classes, and buildings - every facet of campus – is a necessity and has been identified as a priority by our students and faculty.

    We were excited to take another major step in that effort with formal establishment of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment – iSEE - and the appointment of a permanent director, plant biology professor, Evan DeLucia. This is one of the first recommendations that came out of last year’s Visioning Future Excellence conversations and was also identified as a goal in the campus strategic plan. The institute will serve as a research and educational hub for environmental and sustainability initiatives for the entire campus community.

    As a campus, we have long been active in new initiatives to promote sustainable practice, both in our own activities and in research that translates to broader impact beyond our walls. From a campus-wide effort that has cut our annual energy costs by millions of dollars and has rewarded buildings with high energy reductions through the Energy Conservation Incentive Program, to the RecycleMania Game Day event February 26 and efforts in University Housing that have reduced daily food waste by hundreds of tons – thinking about ways to preserve our world and to steward our resources is a part of our community identity.

    And the world is noticing. This year we garnered several national recognitions including a rating of Gold from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Reporting System. Gold is the highest distinction a university has been given. For the first time, we were also named to the Princeton Review Green Honor Roll, one of only 22 schools to make the list this year. We were ranked #1 in the Big Ten and 28th overall for Sierra Club Cool Schools. PETA2 named us one of the most “vegan-friendly” schools in the U.S. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Lincoln Hall project LEED Platinum certification, its highest ranking. And we also received a Governor’s Sustainability Award.

    We have a long history of innovation and leadership in environmental science and sustainability. But it is exciting to see how that hallmark is being incorporated into our strategic future excellence.

    --The above paragraphs were quoted from the Chancellor's Blog.

    Attached Files: 
  3. Housing Sustainability Report 2011

    University Housing’s 2010 Strategic Plan identified stewardship of resources as critical to our long-term success. According to the plan, stewardship of resources means “University Housing will demonstrate intentional and transparent stewardship of the financial, physical, and human resources of our entire organization. We will seek to use and conserve our resources in an effective manner that meets the needs of our residents and customers seeking and expecting excellent value.”

    While University Housing had already initiated a number of sustainability efforts, the University developed the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) in May 2010, identifying new sustainability mandates with which Housing will need to comply. Additionally, the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) was asking for support on multiple initiatives.

    As a result, University Housing identified the need to pool our sustainability resources through a single point of contact and formed the Housing Sustainability Council.