Sustainability at Elmhurst College

Home

»

Cultural Events

»

Sustainability Home

» Elmhurst College Sustainability Plan

Elmhurst College Sustainability Plan

The Sustainability Plan operates within the umbrella of Elmhurst College’s Statement of Mission, Vision and Core Values as well as its Strategic Plan. It supports the Strategic Plan by specifically addressing the overall use of resources in the College’s operations and by encouraging meaningful sustainability contributions from the offices, departments, the faculty, staff and students comprising the College community. It operates, in general, within the same timeframe as the Strategic Plan; currently 2009–2014. It also provides a record of established and modified goals and achievements met along the way.

Goal 4 of the Strategic Plan is to “construct a physical environment that will shine as a model for liberal education.” Specifically, Target 4.3.7 directs the College to “conduct an environmental audit of the campus and establish a comprehensive plan for environmental sustainability in the acquisition and management of campus resources.” In conjunction with these Strategic Plan statements, the College also understands and pursues its responsibility to develop a campus culture that supports, enhances and promotes sustainability and stresses green efforts in our daily operations.

College and Sustainability Plan Goals

  • Develop base information from professional sources and from the College Community itself in order to provide direction and priorities for the College’s sustainability efforts
  • Make the document become a 5-year outline for identifying and measuring progress
  • Improve awareness and understanding of environmental issues
  • Encourage faculty, students and staff to participate in the sustainability efforts of the College
  • Improve College efforts to support green sustainable practices
  • Educate students through programs and curriculum regarding their environmental responsibilities as members of a multicultural global society
  • Engage in higher education, the local community, and national organizations involved in sustainability

Major Areas of Concentration

Energy and Natural Resources
Continue to seek cost effective ways to minimize the use of fossil fuel energy sources and finite natural resources by enhancing energy conservation in existing buildings and striving toward sustainable energy practices in the renovation of both current buildings and construction of new buildings subject to cost constraints and available technology.

STRATEGIES

Conduct a campus-wide greenhouse gas inventory to determine a baseline for improving the College's carbon footprint. Conduct updated inventories to measure progress and to identify new efforts (every 3 years).

Initial Inventory Completed   7/2010

Seek LEED certification for new construction of buildings on campus.

2010–2015

Determine feasibility of seeking LEED status for selected existing buildings.

On Hold–Fund Limitations

Retrofit HVAC systems to be more efficient. Management of these systems has been computerized to minimize energy usage when rooms are not being used. The heating and cooling are controlled by self-monitoring equipment with sensors and time-of-day scheduling that can be coordinated with occupancy schedules. Surveys and recommendations expected from a NICOR/ComEd funded grant in 2012.

Completed

Continue to install motion sensors, and include lighting retrofits for lighting in offices, conference rooms, bathrooms and classrooms as appropriate.

Partially completed and ongoing

Install faucet sensors, auto flush/low flow/dual flush toilets and hand driers as needed and appropriate.

Partially completed and ongoing

Install monitoring devices on energy flow lines to determine usage and opportunities for cost savings.

System Test Begun 3/2012

Consider a campus-wide effort to encourage the community to turn off lights and other equipment (computers, etc.) when not in use. ("Hit The Switch" launched 4/11.)

Partially completed and ongoing

 

Arboretum
Continue to develop, enhance, better manage and publicize the College's unique natural resource: the Arboretum.

STRATEGIES

Complete arboretum tree inventory to identify the nature of the asset and to provide a database for managing the trees and the encompassing green space.

Completed
10/2010

Use technology to better manage and care for the arboretum, install a laser system for monitoring tree location and condition.

Completed 10/2010

Link arboretum database to the College web site for public use and reference.

Completed 1/2012

Obtain “Tree Campus USA” status for the College as a means to recognize the uniqueness and value of the arboretum. (Level II Accredited Arboretum designation obtained in 2/2012.)

Completed
2/2012

 

Parking, Transportation and Vehicle Use
Continue to research and support program initiatives designed to restrain and minimize campus parking in an effort to further reduce the College's carbon footprint. Similarly find ways to reduce fuel use in transportation and travel practices.

STRATEGIES

Continue bicycle program and support it through rack building and storage (170 bikes given and 18 racks on hand in 9/2009; 100 additional bikes given and six new racks added in 9/2010; 114 bikes provided for SY 2011-2012)

On hold 3/2012–Funding issues

Implement annual fee for on-campus parking for employees and students. (Review annually.)

Completed
9/2010

Provide a subsidy for employees using mass transit.

Completed

Establish a no-idling policy for College-owned vehicles. Expand to educational program for all vechicles on campus.

Completed 1/2012

Provide a flexible four-day work week policy for staff.

Completed

Purchase electric-powered vehicles to replace gas-powered ones for Facilities Management local area use. (First two purchased 8/20/2010 & Fall 2011, no replacements made as of 6/2012)

Completed and ongoing

 

Recycling and Waste
Continue to analyze campus activities and programs that generate waste with the goal of minimizing such waste by reducing, reusing and recycling. Communicate this philosophy to the campus at large.

STRATEGIES

Recycle used ink and toner cartridges and recycle computers. (College-managed equipment recycling in place as of 1999).

Implemented and ongoing

Use low VOC paints, finishes and cleaning products.

Implemented and ongoing

Conduct annual hazardous waste pick-up on campus to assure that these items don't get into the waste stream.

Implemented and ongoing

Encourage campus food providers to purchase food products from vendors that support local/nearby farmers and organic farming methods. (Ongoing through use of Chartwells and its policies regarding sourcing and use of organic foods.)

Ongoing

Install the PC Counter system in order to reduce paper use in public area copiers. This print management system is to be tested in Spring 2011 for use in the Library and Computer Labs.

Pending

Implement system of paper-use charges for students and visitors to be effective Fall 2012. Commitee recommendation made 5/2012.

Under study

Conduct campus-wide publicity to encourage employees to reduce paper use for printing and copying. (Memos & on-copier notices placed on machines 1/2012, 4/2012)

Ongoing

Provide personal recycling containers for all administrative offices.

Completed

Develop new signs for interior single-source recycling containers.

Completed 1/2012

Add exterior recycling containers across campus.

2010–2015

Label café and EC Grille containers to encourage recycling and composting. Updated in 2012.

Completed

Employ student workers to assist with trash sorting in cafeteria and elsewhere on campus. (Living Green Team established 9/2011)

Completed and ongoing

Encourage students to participate in the Student Government Association book swap for textbook exchange.

In progress and ongoing

Develop a trial composting program for food service waste and explore possible expansion of composting. (Identification of serious vendor and contact with community businesses started in 1/2012)

In progress and ongoing

Explore recycling opportunities for commonly used items such as batteries, plastic bottle caps, plastic grocery bags and dry-erase markers. (171 tons recycled in 2011)

2010–2011

Provide personal recycling containers for all administrative offices.

2009–Ongoing

Facilities Management implemented dry-erase marker recycling program.

3/2011

 

Education and Campus Participation
Develop methods to increase campus awareness and understanding (faculty, students and staff) on the environmental impact of everyday work through a variety of means including classes, student organizations, literature, email, the Daily News and the campus sustainability web site.

STRATEGIES

Continue to develop and offer a range of courses that have a sustainability focus, adding to courses already offered as a part of the curriculum. Currently the College offers the following courses:

  • BIO 105 Environmental Biology
  • BIO 412 Plant Anatomy and Morphology
  • BIO 415 Ecology
  • BIO 417 Plant Physiology
  • BIO 418 Animal Physiology
  • COM 353 Environmental Communications
  • CHM 110 Chemistry Issues in the Environment
  • GEO 102 Earth's Landforms
  • GEO 302 Urban Environment
  • ENV 302 Environmental Problems in the Urban Environment
  • PHL 312 Environmental Ethics
  • CHM Sustainability and Green Chemistry
  • Marine Island Ecology (off campus)
  • A variety of courses at the Morton Arboretum (off campus)

Ongoing

Encourage faculty from a wide range of departments to develop courses that address issues of sustainability.

Ongoing

Provide faculty development funds to assist faculty in developing expertise in the area of sustainability.

Ongoing

Assist faculty in making connections with local organizations, businesses and institutions that deal with issues of sustainability in order to foster experiential learning possibilities for students.

Pending

 

Campus Participation and Outreach

STRATEGIES

Install signage at West Hall and the west parking lot explaining the sustainable strategies used during construction and the creation of the prairie garden.

Completed

Guide and support the Greenjays and other student initiatives that embrace the goals and directions set forth in the Sustainability Plan.

Ongoing

Develop and distribute electronically the EC Sustainability Newsletter to all faculty, staff and students on a periodic basis with a specific topic focus such as energy, food, water and waste. The communication would generally include facts and information, updates on campus initiatives and tips for members of the campus community to use in the workplace and at home.

In place and ongoing in 2010

Establish and maintain a sustainability web site. The web site should feature the College’s sustainability goals, information on the Sustainability Committee, a copy of the Sustainability Plan, copies of EC Sustainability News, the College’s progress in attaining its “green goals” including any specific measurable efforts and links to external sources for additional information on sustainability and green living.

In place and ongoing in 2011

Sponsor topic specific information tables in the Frick Center in conjunction with the College efforts, the EC Sustainability Newsletter and green tips. Annual display of sustainability related topics displayed by Chartwells in addition to publicity for healthy menus. Two employee programs and "Office Supply Swap" sponsored in 2011–2012.

In progress
and ongoing

Participate in selected regional sustainability-focused groups. (Participation in the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact and Chicago Urban Campus Composting Group. Formally joined the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in May 2012)

In progress
and ongoing

Use the College's unique capabilities in support of sustainability efforts in the greater Elmhurst Community. Initiated annual sponsorship of community recycling event and Committee lead in setting up a local composting route. The College provides informational tours of the West Hall Complex and the Arboretum for civic groups.

In progress
and ongoing

Develop a poster and Leader ad campaign around topics connected to the College's core values in embracing sustainability.

2010–2011

Use the College's unique capabilities in support of sustainability efforts in Elmhurst and DuPage County. (e.g., Composting route actions, annual College/community recycle events on campus (2011 and 2012), participation in commitees (Elmhurst Bike TF, Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition, Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce regarding lining up composters)

In progress and ongoing

Work cooperatively with the employee and student orientation programs to educate new arrivals regarding expectations of participation in sustainability efforts as connected to the College's core values.

In progress and ongoing

Establish organic garden to support student involvement in sustainability projects. (Planted 3-Sisters Garden with ELSA participation in 5/2012.)

In progress and ongoing

 

Administration and Evaluation
As sustainability is recognized as a key aspect of College operations, develop a coordinated sustainability program.

STRATEGIES

Prepare an Annual Report due on June 30 on Sustainability Plan Progress.

Completed and ongoing

Create a Sustainability Account and obtain dedicated funds.

Completed

Participate in appropriate sustainability program evaluation instruments. (Applied for and obtained Bronze Level Achievement award within the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact – 12/2011. Completed and submitted Princeton Review Green College’s Survey in 1/2012 for Fall 2012 results publication.)

Completed

Submit application for Silver Level Achievement award in 2012.

Pending

Develop methods and record costs and savings associated with sustainability initiates and efforts.

In progress and ongoing

Establish permanent records related to the sustainability program.

In progress and ongoing

 

Campus Sustainability Committee
The Elmhurst College Sustainability Committee, appointed by the President, consists of approximately 15 to 20 interested and knowledgeable faculty, students and staff. Meeting monthly during the academic year, the committee identifies, coordinates and promotes sustainability efforts across campus that bring the institution closer to the goals of this plan.

Share |

Follow Us: Flickr YouTube Instagram

Elmhurst College • 190 Prospect Avenue • Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296 • (630) 279-4100 or (630) 617-3500

 

Undergraduate Admission • (630) 617-3400 • (800) 697-1871 • admit@elmhurst.edu     New Incoming Students RSVP for Advising

 

School for Professional Studies • (630) 617-3300 • (800) 581-4723 • sps@elmhurst.edu

 

Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy Admission • (630) 617-3752 • elsa@elmhurst.edu

 

Technical Support