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  1. Edu003 Sustainability Career Fair - Submitted

    The Education SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/2/2020: 

    The Sustainability Career Fair working group has the following tiered recommendations, which would grow the general program over three years, with event implementation beginning in the Spring of FY21:

    • Year 1: The Career Center would coordinate with various University colleges’ career fairs in Spring of FY21 to create an integrated Sustainability identity within existing career fairs. Initially, this would primarily target Environmental Sciences and Sustainability majors and minors, but eventually would include a broader base of colleges as we build awareness. In order to quantify the need for developing a Sustainability career fair, we recommend creating assessments in the Fall of FY21. These would determine the job market demand for Sustainability professionals along with establishing desired credentials for job applicants. A second assessment would target students with a Sustainability career focus to better understand their career goals and desired career path (government policy work at the local and State, and Federal level, applied science and coordination work within government, Not-For-Profits, corporations, start-ups, or higher education).
    • Year 2: The Career Center would continue promoting and coordinating a consistent Sustainability identity within individual colleges’ career fairs while adding a modest career fair of interested companies and partners in conjunction with the Fall 2021 ISEE Congress. We recommend starting one paid internship through the Career Center, partnering with ISEE, the LAS Life + Career Design Lab and ACES Career Services to help organize and promote the event. Other student volunteers would assist with planning and day-of event management.
    • Year 3: Grow the Sustainability Career Fair program to include the Year 1 and Year 2 events, and adding a larger stand-alone, comprehensive Campus-wide Sustainability Career Fair in February 2023, involving multiple University colleges (ACES, LAS, Grainger, Gies, FAA, etc.).

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Edu003 Sustainability Career Fair with comments from the Education SWATeam.

  2. Edu002 Internship Coordinator - Submitted

    The Education SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/2/2020: 

    The Education SWATeam recommends developing a sustainable communities paid internship program in partnership with local businesses, non-profits, local government agencies, community-based agencies and cultural institutions in Central Illinois. 


    The internship program will be designed to build organizational capacity in the Champaign-Urbana / Central Illinois with regard to sustainability and resilience efforts to advance sustainable development and/or climate action goals. This program aims to allow students the flexibility to devise an internship experience that aligns with their specific interests within sustainability. Collaborations between the University and Champaign-Urbana community can be taken advantage of as projects where internships can be generated.


    The student interns will be involved in sustainability and community resilience efforts with directed emphasis toward sustainable development goals. Interns will gain real-world, project-based, and pre-professional experience in a workplace setting anywhere from 3 months (summer intern) to 1 year. 


    The intern program will also be tasked to provide leadership training as a foundation for real-world, project-based, and pre-professional experiences. Existing campus resources such as leadership development training modules available through Student Union programming should be utilized.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Edu002 Internship Coordinator with comments from the Education SWATeam.

  3. Edu001 Environmental Leadership Program - Submitted

    The Education SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/2/2020: 

    Develop an Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), for undergraduates and Masters’ students. ELP will comprise two week-long intensives, one in Fall and a Washington DC trip during Spring Break, exposing students to environmental governance at local, state, and federal tiers. Also includes pre-professional training, and speaker seminars during the academic year.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Edu001 Environmental Leadership Program with comments from the Eductation SWATeam.

  4. Res001 Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan - Submitted

    The Resilience SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    An update to the Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (CCHMP) will be finalized by June 2020 and it is recommended that the University of Illinois (UI) adopt the CCHMP. Hazard mitigation plans are required for some Federal disaster assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act*. The adoption of the plan requires Chancellor Jones’ signature.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Res001 Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan with comments from the Resilience SWATeam.


  5. Energy004 Energy Conservation Funding - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend $10M per year (scalable) of funding for the next 5 years to implement critical projects that work in concert with energy performance contracts (EPC) and/or energy focused capital projects. EPC contracts are fulfilled by specialized, accredited firms known as energy service companies. The university uses EPCs to manage complex projects targeting facilities with high energy use, such as laboratories, maximizing energy efficiency and addressing sizable volumes of deferred maintenance issues along the way. The campus backlog on deferred maintenance is approaching $1 billion.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy004 Energy Conservation Funding with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  6. Energy003 Energy Master Plan - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend that F&S commission an Energy Master Plan for the U of I campus that contains at least 4 scenarios under which the campus meets the iCAP goal of 0 GHG by 2050.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy003 Energy Master Plan with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  7. Energy002 Building Envelope - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend that Building Envelope Inspection, Testing and Maintenance be performed as a method to improve building energy conservation to support the iCap 2050 goal of zero GHG emissions. Building Envelopes should be commissioned for all new construction projects. Existing Buildings should be inspected, tested, deficiencies addressed and maintained to achieve the best energy conservation possible for the building envelope. 

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy002 Building Envelope with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  8. Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    The College of ACES should conduct a Feasibility Study to construct and operate an anaerobic digester on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The College of ACES should then proceed in accordance with the results of the Feasibility Study.

    Recruit qualified faculty and staff and/or hire a contracting engineering firm to undertake this study and use the 2014 “South Farms Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study” and David Rivera-Kohr’s “Anaerobic Digester at the U of I” presentation as references. This new feasibility study should help the University:

    1. identify the optimal location for the digester considering transportation of feedstocks (e.g. COW pipeline from 2014 study), proximity to the natural gas (NG) pipeline and campus fleet, and the College of ACES’ plans for future construction (e.g. new Dairy Farm);
    2. determine feedstock options (i.e. food waste from dining halls, campus buildings, restaurants and industrial partners, agricultural waste, animal manure and carcasses) and quantities from both on-campus and off-campus sources and projected monthly and annual outputs of biogas (cubic feet) and solid/liquid digestate (tons). This should include a breakdown of chemical constituents in biogas and digestates with specific focus on the monthly and annual outputs of valuable molecules (e.g. methane, nitrates, phosphates, potash);
    3. evaluate optimal biogas and digestate end uses for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for best return on investment with particular focus on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) production for the campus vehicle fleet or MTD buses, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) injection into the NG pipeline, biogas Combined Heat & Power (CHP) to meet parasitic energy load of digester and associated machinery, and applying digestates to agricultural fields as fertilizer. Include a recommended course of action for meeting the University’s sustainability goals;
    4. determine the optimal location for a CNG facility if the recommended option for biogas use is found to be RNG pipeline injection or CNG considering the most feasible CNG use scenarios (campus fleet trucks, cars, or MTD buses);
    5. determine prospective economics for implementation scenarios including life cycle costs of construction, equipment, transportation, etc., prospective savings from reduced expenditure (e.g. natural gas, vehicle fuel, fertilizer, waste transportation and disposal) and projected profits from energy credits (RECs, RINs, LCFSs), sale of digestion and upgradation byproducts, charges for facility use, acceptance of outside waste, etc.;
    6. evaluate mechanisms for integrating the recovered energy into campus’ energy generation and distribution system, e.g. determine the feasibility, economics and emissions associated with RNG pipeline injection, converting 8-12 campus fleet vehicles to CNG annually, using an Internal Combustion Engine to meet electricity needs of the host facility and dumping excess electricity onto the local grid, using biogas CHP with renewable energy technologies (e.g. solar, Deep Direct Use geothermal) to meet parasitic energy loads;
    7. determine potential sources of funding and evaluate the feasibility of owning and operating the system considering different partnership scenarios including the University alone and partnerships with private entities (e.g. GESS International, Inc., American Biogas Council, CR&R Environmental Services, EESI) or surrounding cities or counties—include other parties’ willingness to participate;
    8. compile a list of environmental, economic and other benefits associated with anaerobic digestion and utilization of biogas and digestate byproducts including those mentioned in the references. Include whether global water consumption will be reduced if digestate is used for fertilizer as opposed to generating an equal amount of traditional fertilizer and estimate time for return on investment given different biogas use scenarios;
    9. address and/or update the “recommended next steps” from 2014 feasibility study;
    10. investigate reasons why the previous feasibility study did not lead to digester construction and, if not already addressed by the previous criteria, collect information or take necessary steps to address those concerns.

    This study should be completed by FY22 (June 30, 2022).

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  9. ZW001 Student Sustainability Ambassador Program - Submitted

    The Zero Waste SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We are recommending a pilot program for what we are calling the Student Sustainability Ambassadors initiative. The main idea is to have teams assigned to buildings – one team per building - on campus with student volunteers playing a central role in these teams. Other members of each team: the Building Manager, one or two Zero Waste Contacts in each building (i.e. staff or faculty volunteers in each building from a list of campus contacts that the ZW Coordinator will put together with a view to promoting ZW.)

    The focus of each team: all aspects that are relevant to whether a building is being operated sustainably with attention to the actions of people in the building. This includes reducing waste, increasing recycling, sustainable purchasing, natural landscaping, energy use, amount of printing that is done, and so on. A large focus will be placed on relating these components to the iCAP goals and objectives.

    Student Sustainability Ambassadors will speak with people who work in the building about issues they notice and about how they use the building. They will work to quantify waste/energy/resources used/etc. in their assigned building. They will help to inform people in the assigned building about all matters pertaining to sustainability including issues at the campus level, in particular the goals of iSEE and F&S. They will also work to provide solutions to problems they identify in their buildings.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation ZW001 Student Sustainability Ambassador Program with comments from the Zero Waste SWATeam.

  10. LW001 Data Repository - Submitted

    The Land and Water SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/2/2020: 

    The Land & Water SWATeam recommends that a single data repository and online dashboard should be established to ingest, archive, and disseminate data from various sustainability related monitoring on and around campus. This could potentially be a dashboard included on the iCAP Portal.

    Currently, there is a need to keep permanent records of original data and measurements from a variety of sensors and applications and in a variety of formats.  The university should be able to provide reliable, secure online access to sustainability-related monitoring data, to manage all monitoring network locations, to integrate data acquisition systems and external databases, and automate continuous data importing. Data such as water quality, soil moisture, green roof monitoring, nitrogen content will be tracked. Data can be input as public or private (such as data from research papers before publication) and entered manually or pulled from other platforms and software. The goal is to be able to provide online tools to visualize, analyze, and download data.

    The SWATeam has identified two potential options to develop this system, such as the College of ACES Soil Diagnostics proprietary software. Additionally, personnel from the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Lab in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering have developed a natural-resources data-management system that is able to assimilate and store data from a wide variety of sensors and provide online access to user-selected data streams (described in Explanation and Background section).

    The Land & Water SWATeam recommends that iSEE provide support to make this system the repository and dashboard for all sustainability-related monitoring across campus.  This would provide a single portal that would enable students, faculty, University staff and administration, and the public to access these monitoring data.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation LW001 Data Repository with comments from Land and Water SWATeam.

  11. Trans013 UI Ride Survey - Submitted

    The Transportation SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    When UI Ride resumes, F&S will hand out a survey that has already been developed by SWAT team member Julie Cidell regarding riders' motivations for taking UI Ride. Surveys are electronic and will not need to be physically collected; members of the SWAT team will carry out the analysis of the results.  

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Trans013 UI Ride Survey with comments from Transportation SWATeam members.

  12. Trans012 Carpool Survey - Submitted

    The Transportation SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    The Transportation goal on “reducing single-occupancy vehicle usage” is promising in terms of addressing a number of sustainability objectives such as reducing traffic, congestion, energy consumption, and pollution. One of the possible avenues toward this goal is a campus faculty/staff ride-sharing program for those with steady work hours who are looking for a cost-effective way to commute. This recommendation will

    1. conduct a survey to examine the key factors influencing commuters’ decision to participate, policy and incentive mechanisms that properly address the interests of the commuters and other stakeholders (e.g., Parking, F&S);
    2. develop a model to support the design and operation of the system (such as pricing, service frequency), and
    3. long-term, implement a pilot program on campus.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Trans012 Carpool Survey with comments from Transportation SWATeam members.

  13. Celebrate Earth Month!

    Associated Project(s): 

    Help Us Celebrate Earth Month — Wherever You Are!

    It's officially Earth Month, and the countdown is on to Earth Day 2020 on April 22!

    On this 50th Earth Day, the theme nationally is climate action, and we have several virtual events scheduled — both informative and fun!

    On April 20, climate scientist and U of I graduate Katharine Hayhoe will deliver the annual Charles David Keeling Lecture online, via Zoom, "Climate Science in a Fact-Free World." Hayhoe — Director of the Climate Center and Associate in the Public Health Program of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Texas Tech University — writes that the best predictor of whether someone agrees that humans are responsible for climate change isn't their level of education or scientific literacy, but where they fall on the political spectrum. 

    On April 23, we will celebrate the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) with a Facebook Live event. Join us for a livestream discussion as we showcase a draft of iCAP 2020 and the hard work of the many people who contributed their time and effort this past year.

    You can find details below on how to participate in both events.

    And there's more! Starting next week, take our Earth Week Countdown Quiz on Instagram (@sustainillinois). And during Earth Week, chart your sustainable activities by playing Earth Week Blackout BINGO. Stay tuned for details!

  14. Ethics training update 4/6/2020

    The task force is close to finalizing the content of the sustainability ethics course. The attached draft was updated after the recent meeting on 4/1/2020.

    Our next steps include: inviting Shantanu Pai with F&S to upcoming meetings to discuss and verify the content, and strategizing how to produce the course itself.

    Attached Files: 
  15. Sustainability Webinar: Large Summer Festival Going Zero Waste

    James Carter - programming & operations manager with Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF) - will discuss how they implemented a dramatic waste management transformation, created educational opportunities, and presented community-collaborative art programming. The operational goal? To become a zero waste event with 90% landfill diversion over three years.

    April 9, 12–1 PM Elizabeth Meschewski • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    Sustainability Webinar: Large Summer Festival Going Zero Waste


  16. Everyday Environment Webinar Series

    Associated Project(s): 

    University of Illinois Extension's Energy & Environmental Stewardship Team presents the "Everyday Environment Webinar Series." Learn about natural resources and how to make small changes in your lifestyle to positively impact your environment. From lawn care and native plants to understanding coyote behavior and more, there is always something new to learn about your everyday environment. 

    April 9–June 25, 1–2 PM • Every Thursday Erin Garrett • Cooperative Extension Service

    Everyday Environment Webinar Series


    Join us for weekly sessions on environmental topics presented by University of Illinois Extension's Energy & Environmental Stewardship Team! These webinars will both provide new information on natural resources and help you learn how to make small changes in your lifestyle to have a positive impact on the environment. From lawn care, native plants, and managing home waste to understanding coyote behavior and atmospheric optics, there is never a shortage of new things to learn about your everyday environment. See flyer for more details. 

    The schedule of webinars is below and registration is free! Please register for each individual webinar you are interested in attending at their respective registration link.

    Sky Spectacles

    April 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    Join us and learn why we see a blue sky; why twilight is longer near the poles; and what sun dogs, halos, mirages, and other atmospheric optics are. Presenter: Duane Friend


    April 16, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    Coyotes have to be one of the most misunderstood species in Illinois. Cunning, social, resilient, opportunistic, faithful, adaptive, shy, successful, hated, inspirational: those words have all been used to describe coyotes. They conjure up mixed feelings of fear, anger, and for some, wild beauty. Coyotes are often blamed for many things they do and do not do. Nonetheless, they might be worthy the title of best survivalist despite the human population. Presenter: Peggy Doty.

    Planting for the Pollinators

    April 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    How can you support pollinators in your yard? Learn what types of pollinators you can attract to your yard and discover the right native plants attract butterflies, native bees, moths, and more. Presenter: Erin Garrett.

    Natural Lawn Care Part 1: Assessment

    April 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    Assess the health and prepare for environmentally-friendly lawns. Participants will learn tools and techniques to better assess lawn so as they make an informed natural lawn care plan. Presenters: Abigail GarofaloGemini Bhalsod, and Allison Neubauer.

    Natural Lawn Care Part 2: Strategies

    May 7, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    Learn strategies to understand your lawn, as well as learn tools to create a natural lawn care action plan. Presenters: Abigail GarofaloGemini Bhalsod, and Allison Neubauer.

    Managing Waste in the Home

    May 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    Have you ever thought about how much trash your household generates? Learn about the management of municipal solid waste in the US, materials that can be recycled or composted, locating recycling and composting facilities near you, and strategies for decreasing household waste. Presenter: Ashley Belle.

    Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Biennial Report

    May 21, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    How is water quality in Illinois? The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides the state's efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in our lakes, streams, and rivers. The strategy lays out a comprehensive suite of best management practices for reducing nutrient loads from wastewater treatment plants and urban and agricultural runoff. Learn how the strategy has progressed. Presenters: Eliana BrownKate GardinerHaley HaverbackJennifer Woodyard.

    All About Clouds

    June 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time

    See various types of clouds, including unique clouds only seen in a few locations and what weather is expected with each variety. Presenter: Duane Friend

  17. Illini Lights out at Home!

    Associated Project(s): 

    Illini Lights Out Goes Home! 

    Help us turn off lights and electronics to reduce energy use and fight climate change! ILO Goes Home builds on the monthly student event that has saved energy, emissions, and money on campus. Join the Illinois community and do your part for the Earth wherever you are!
    5:30-7 p.m. | Friday, April 17