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Projects Updates for iCAP 2020: Illinois Climate Action Plan

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  1. EAB to provide assessment of UIUC Sustainability Plan

    Facilities & Services is working with EAB, formerly the Education Advisory Board and headquartered in Washington, D.C., to participate in EAB's new sustainability plan review service.

    Their team of experts will audit the sustainability plan in the following areas:
    -    Global trends in sustainability plans
    -    Comparison to peer plans
    -    Key implementation mechanisms
    -    Institution-specific opportunities
    The report will also link to sample peer plans and supporting research from EAB. 



  2. Daily Illini article about impacts of covid-19 on iCAP

    The Daily Illini published an article about the impacts of covid-19 on the campus sustainability efforts. One key message is that, even with some delays associated with the pandemic, we are still determined to move forward.  The conclusion of the article says: 

    Mohamed Attalla, executive director of Facilities and Services, said there are lots of initiatives to reach carbon neutrality in terms of energy and hopes to reach 400,000 metric tons of CO2 this year.

    Attalla said the addition of a third solar farm, advances in geothermal energy and research in carbon capture contribute to achieving carbon neutrality and that long-term, COVID-19 should not be a problem.

    “Maybe we’re behind a little in implementing some projects, but we’ll be able to catch up,” he said. “I don’t think there will be a long-term impact on the iCAP implementation.”

    White also said she doesn’t anticipate any long-term problems with achieving the iCAP goals and believes it’s important for the University to lead by example when it comes to sustainability.

    “I really believe that accomplishing the iCAP goals is something we can do, we need to do and we will do,” she said. 

    “Climate change isn’t waiting for us,” Edwards said. “(The University is) the laboratory for science, for humanities, for arts …  all those kinds of things show what is possible of humanity.”

    “If we’re going to call ourselves leaders, then we need to lead,” he said.


  3. Fall 2020: iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ)

    The Fall 2020 iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ) was released with the following message from Madhu Khanna, the Interim Director of iSEE:


    Dear Colleagues,

    Attached, please find attached the Fall 2020 “iQ” – the quarterly update from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

    It has been two months since I became interim director of ISEE.  It has been exciting to see ISEE bring in multimillion-dollar research grants, launch a new research initiative in regenerative agriculture, and help coalesce sustainable agriculture research on our campus during this period.

    Our Certificate in Environmental Writing has engaged students in making insightful contributions to a new issue of Q Magazine. We have also expanded our opportunities for education and scholarly discourse with several online events, including those on nuclear energy and geothermal energy research.

    We formally launched the new Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP 2020) on Oct 20, 2020. This ambitious plan is the result of the hard work of campus sustainability folks who worked hand-in-hand with Facilities & Services and incorporated the vision of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members into a plan for the next five years and beyond — all the way to carbon neutrality no later than 2050!

    I am so grateful to Evan Delucia for his efforts over the first seven years as the first director of our Institute. He has left iSEE as a vibrant part of the Illinois community, and I am working with our outstanding ISEE staff to expand upon the work already begun — as evidenced in this six-page update.

    Please take a quick look at those updates and more in “iQ.” For more regular news, please sign up for our E-newsletter at

    Wishing you a successful end to the fall semester,


  4. Campus Sustainability Celebration

    iSEE and F&S are excited to invite you to the Campus Sustainability Celebration 2020! This is an annual event that is especially exciting this year with the signing ceremony of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020, (once every five years) and the presentation of energy conservation and Freezer Challenge awards. Everyone is invited and encouraged to stay afterward for a social-hour!

    Campus Sustainability Celebration

    October 20, 3 pm • Map

    Meredith Moore • Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

    baseline_wifi_black_18dp.png This opportunity is available online.

  5. iWG Meeting Minutes from 10-9-20

    The iCAP Working Group met for the first time during the 2020-2021 academic year on 10-9-20. The group welcomed new members and discussed the status of the SWATeam recommendations submitted last spring by the teams. The meeting minutes and spreadsheet of the recommendation statuses are attached. 

  6. iCAP 2020 launched!

    Urbana, Ill. — On Oct. 20, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones will approve and sign the newest version of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). iCAP 2020, developed through broad stakeholder engagement and led by the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) and Facilities & Services (F&S), commits the campus to divest from fossil fuels, switch to clean energy sources, cut landfill waste, and pursue environmental justice.

    iCAP 2020 is the campus’s strategic sustainability plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest. This is critical and urgent, as atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG) contribute to unstable agricultural productivity, food insecurity, and heightened levels of air and water pollution that will particularly affect our most vulnerable communities.

    SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) objectives crafted in pursuit of this goal are organized into eight key themes: Energy, Transportation, Land & Water, Zero Waste, Education, Engagement, Resilience, and Implementation. Among the 56 diverse iCAP 2020 objectives:

    • Increase the number of trees on campus
    • Use clean energy sources for 15% of the total campus energy demand
    • Reduce net air travel emissions by 100% by FY30

    “We are proud of the university’s commitment to sustainability and appreciative of Chancellor Jones’s support as we continue to take action. Over the course of this year, campus and community members developed ambitious objectives, and we must work together to see them through,” iSEE Interim Director Madhu Khanna said. “The Illinois family is passionate about sustainability and resilient; each one of our efforts helps to make a difference.”

    iCAP 2020 is the third iteration of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (previously published in 2010 and updated in 2015). A priority this year is fostering a culture of sustainability on campus, with objectives geared toward increasing the visibility of sustainable practices to inspire positive, lasting change. These include:

    • Broaden the availability of sustainability education across the entire curriculum, beginning with first-year student orientation
    • Support programs to develop love of nature and sustainability among children
    • Promote zero waste events, with durable goods instead of disposables, and develop a comprehensive zero-waste messaging campaign

    Student involvement was instrumental to the creation of iCAP 2020. For the first time this year, the chancellor’s letter of endorsement is paired with a “Letter from the Students.” Additionally, students were key proponents of an objective calling for the university’s full divestment from fossil fuel companies.

    The Resilience chapter extends the iCAP’s scope of influence beyond campus borders. It identifies opportunities for collaboration with Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy to implement strategies for urban biodiversity, green job programs, and environmental justice.

    iCAP 2020 will be celebrated and signed by Chancellor Jones at the virtual Campus Sustainability Celebration from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. Speakers include Khanna, F&S Executive Director Mohamed Attalla, and several student sustainability leaders. RSVP and learn more.

    (For the day of, here is the Campus Sustainability Celebration Zoom link (password 089397) >>>)

  7. Archived info - previous project description

    The SWATeams and iCAP Working Group are now working on development of the 2020 iCAP. Each of the SWATeams will be asked to recommend specific, measurable objectives for the 2020 iCAP.  The actual iCAP chapters will be written by members of the iWG and iSEE staff, based on the input received from SWATeams and campus, for review by the iWG. In Spring 2020, there will be campus and community review of the draft chapters, and the SWATeams will be included as key stakeholders in that review process. Ultimately, the 2020 iCAP with a chapter for each SWATeam, and additional related chapters will be formally submitted to the Sustainability Council for campus approval.

  8. Engagement SWATeam Meeting

    The Engagement SWATeam met on October 7th to continue its discussion on the iCAP Objective Assessment. Team members were tasked with researching and assessing particular objectives in the previous meeting. During this meeting, members presented their findings and initiated discussion on potential launch points. Meeting minutes are attached outlining discussion surrounding each of the six objectives in Chapter 7 of the iCAP 2020. 

    Attached Files: 
  9. links for resources

    The Zero Waste SWATeam met 10-02-2020 to discuss the iCAP 2020 objectives for Zero Waste, and one of the topics was regarding the new objective for implementing a Food Literacy Project in campus dining halls. Team members identified a few resources that could be helpful in implementing this project:

    "Modelling nutrient flows in a simplified local food-energy-water system":



  10. 10/2 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat log for the Zero Waste SWATeam meeting on 2 October at 4PM.

    Also attached are resources for the conversation surrounding vending machine alternatives. 

    The agenda for this meeting is as follows:

    • Introductions
    • Announcements
      • Sustainability Celebration Information
        • Student member involvement
      • SSC Working Group Meeting Invitation
    • iCAP 2020 Objectives Assessment
      • Team Members assigned objectives.
      • Deadline for member contributions is 10/9 at noon.
    • Refresher
      • America To Go Sustainability criteria

        • SWATeam can provide help in determining appropriate sustainability criteria to include.
      • Vending Machine Single Use Plastics Alternatives Discussion
        • Working through various points of consideration.
        • Tabled discussion.
  11. 10/2 Transportation SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes for the Transportation SWATeam Meeting on 2 October 2019.

    The items discussed were:

    • Introductions
    • Announcements
      • Sustainability Celebration Information
        • Student member involvement
      • SSC Working Group Meeting Invitation
    • Team Member Updates
      • SSC Grant Application for Abandoned Bike Path Removal
      • Bike Census 2020 Volunteers
      • CTAC Membership
    • iCAP 2020 Objectives Assessment
      • Team Members assigned objectives.
      • Deadline for member contributions is 10/9 at noon.
  12. SWATeam/iWG kick-off follow-up

    Hello sustainability teams and iCAP Working Group,


    Thank you so much to those who were able to attend the kickoff event last Thursday! We had 70 people in attendance and heard positive insight from our faculty chairs. Attached is the PowerPoint from the event with relevant information for the upcoming year, including the 2020-2021 timeline and a member list for each team. In the near future, we will send out a roster with email addresses for each member. The charge letters for the seven SWATeams are found here on the iCAP Portal. Please reach out at any time if you have questions on this information.


    We are very excited to share with you the iCAP 2020 (attached). Please use the objectives listed in your chapter to develop the iCAP assessment (due from each team by October 9).


    The first SWATeam meeting will soon be scheduled by the clerk of your team. We look forward to working together this year – thank you for your hard work and commitment to these important efforts!


    Best regards,

    Meredith Moore, Morgan White, and Ximing Cai

    Attached Files: 
  13. SWATeam charge letters

  14. Welcome SWATeams/iWG

    Dear SWATeams and iWG,


    We hope that you have had a smooth start to the academic year. Thank you for agreeing to serve on the iCAP teams (SWATeams) this year! You are an instrumental part of one of the seven teams: Zero Waste, Transportation, Energy, Land & Water, Resilience, Education, and Engagement (a new team this year)! You will soon receive an official charge letter from the iSEE interim director, Dr. Madhu Khanna.


    We would like to invite you to the annual kick-off event which will include an overview of the iCAP process, expectations of the teams, and status of past recommendations. This event will be held next Thursday, September 17 via Zoom from 4-5pm. An Outlook invitation will follow this email. This event is a fantastic opportunity to gain an understanding of how these teams positively impact campus, and also say “hi” to the other members which is especially important as we are encouraging greater collaboration between the teams this year.


    Secondly, please mark your calendars for the virtual Campus Sustainability Celebration on Tuesday, October 22 from 3-4:30pm. This will be an exciting event as the official approval ceremony of the iCAP 2020 by Chancellor Jones! Meredith will be sending Outlook invitations shortly.


    Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to working with you this year, and thank you again for your commitment to campus sustainability efforts!


    Best regards,

    Dr. Ximing Cai and Morgan White, iWG co-chairs, and Meredith Moore, Sustainability Programs Coordinator

  15. Sustainability Facts Sheet

    Attached are files for the Sustainability Facts Sheets in both a digital and printed form.

    This facts sheet is intended for the following audiences:

    • Demographics unfamiliar with campus sustainability.
    • New Faculty & Staff
    • New & transfer students
    • Outreach and Education programs
  16. Study Abroad Carbon Offset Manual

    Leah Courtney and Parima Michareune, two GFX Scholars in the Women in Engineering program, worked with Meredith Moore in spring 2020 to develop a carbon offset manual for University of Illinois study abroad programs (manual attached). In fall 2020, we will work to pilot this carbon offset program for engineering students who study abroad. 

  17. Preliminary carbon offset research

    iSEE intern, Julija Sakutyte, and Meredith Moore have conducted preliminary research into successful local carbon offset programs, including what other institutions have implemented (summary attached). Next steps include: select a value per pound of CO2, develop scope of carbon emissions, identify local projects to fund, and track emissions reduced. 

  18. Email to Resilience SWATeam re: Edu002 recommendation

    Hello Resilience SWATeam!


    I hope this message finds you well. In the spring, one Education SWATeam (Edu002) recommendation to the iCAP Working Group suggested developing a sustainable communities paid internship program for students, in partnership with local businesses, non-profits, local government agencies, and local community-based organizations. As the recommendation states, the program would be designed to provide student opportunities in the sustainability field to advance resiliency efforts in our region and help tackle challenges related to climate change.


    The iWG recommended including the Resilience SWATeam in discussions on how best to move this forward since it directly involves and relates to the community. We recognized that cities are interested in working with students though funding may be a potential barrier. Your input on this recommendation will be very helpful. What are your initial thoughts on this recommendation? Does this seem like a feasible project, and what would be needed to implement such a program? Meredith may schedule a meeting in the fall between the two SWATeams to discuss further, though in the meantime, please respond with your feedback.


    Thank you!
    Ximing Cai

    August 2, 2020