ACUPCC Reporting System

Implementation Profile for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Submitted on September 10, 2008; last updated on October 11, 2013

Institution Information

Basic Carnegie Classification RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity)
Control Public
Location Champaign, IL
Community Setting Mid-size city
USDOE Climate Zone 5
Current President or Chancellor's Name Phyllis M Wise
Current President or Chancellor's Title Chancellor
Main Website
Sustainability Website

Implementation Structure

Implementation Liaison's Name Evan DeLucia
Implementation Liaison's Title Director
Implementation Liaison's Department Center for a Sustainable Environment
Format of Structure Center- or Institute-Led
Number of Individuals in Structure 21+
Stakeholder Groups Represented Board, Community Leaders, Faculty, Students, Executive, Staff
Description The Chancellor of the University of Illinois established a sustainability structure with two new campus leadership entities, the Campus Sustainability Council and the Center for a Sustainable Environment. These two entities operate in an integrated fashion to provide leadership for the extensive efforts across campus. The scope of their activities is comprehensive, encompassing the academic functions of education, research, and engagement as well as operations of the campus physical infrastructure.

The Campus Sustainability Council, chaired by Chancellor Wise, provides strategic direction and oversight for sustainability initiatives on campus. Relative to opportunities and challenges associated with sustainability, the Council is responsible for fostering campus initiatives to empower tomorrow's societal leaders, reengineer the campus infrastructure and practices, create knowledge and technology, and engage with external constituents. Council members include senior campus leaders and representative of students, faculty, and the local community.

The Center for a Sustainable Environment provides operational leadership to campus sustainability efforts. The Center works with colleges and other campus units, and student groups, to develop and promote opportunities for engaging faculty and students with the critical environmental, social, and economic issues of sustainability. A campus Sustainability Coordinator, located in Facilities & Services, will develop and lead the physical infrastructure enhancements on campus relating to sustainability.

Tangible Actions

1. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

Yes: The College of Business Instructional Facility opening in August 2008, will comply with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold requirements. All new construction and renovation over $5 million dollars will be at least LEED silver compliant.

2. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.

Yes: The Urbana campus has joined other leading universities as a partner in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "Energy Star" program. Energy Star provides information and experience-sharing resources for partner institutions, including guidelines for Energy Management, an Energy Program Assessment Matrix, and a Service & Product Provider Directory.

3. Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.

No: The Office of Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Council will address how the campus will proceed.

4. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.

Yes: Getting around Urbana-Champaign by bus is easy using the local transit system called the Mass Transit District or MTD. Student fees include a transportation fee so student’s as well as faculty and staff’s i-card work as a bus pass giving them unlimited access to all buses at all times!

The MTD also offers the MTD SafeRides program that is available during hours when regular bus service is not in operation.

Close to campus is the Illinois Terminal Transportation facility that provides a central transfer point for Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses as well as a central location for other transportation services. Illinois Terminal presently houses the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Greyhound, Burlington Trailways, LEX Express, Illini Shuttle (by Suburban Express), and Amtrak.

Local charter bus companies offer convenient and inexpensive transportation to the Chicagoland area and to major airports. Campus area pick-up and drop-off sites are conveniently located at areas of high student concentration.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to utilize Amtrak Train transportation to Chicago and other locations when ever possible.

A pilot bike share program is being established in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

To reduce the number of vehicles brought to campus, the University and the cities of Champaign and Urbana are collaborating on a car-sharing program that will allow students, staff, and faculty to rent a car for a short period.

5. Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources.

No: Biofuels – The Garage and Carpool purchases automobiles according to State of Illinois guidelines. These vehicles are certified under the Federal Clean Air Act. Several of the newer purchases run on E85 or gasoline. Currently, they utilize a 2% biodiesel blend, but anticipate increasing that percentage over the year. They are in the process of purchasing a 2,500 gallon E85 tank.
The Biodiesel Project aims to convert waste vegetable oil from dorms into biodiesel to be used in University vehicles.

Wind Generator – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign plans to install one, 1.5 megawatt (at a minimum) wind turbine on the campus South Farms. The project includes a utility-scale wind turbine that will demonstrate a working wind farm for agricultural use and for student/faculty research and education. Once completed, this facility will be one of the first University-owned wind farms in the United States. Campus facilities will use 100% of the electricity generated. The energy will feed directly into the electric distribution system and will supply approximately 1% of campus electricity. The system is anticipated to be completed in November 2009. The University has received a significant grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to help fund the project.

Micanthus – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is moving to install a 2.3 MMBTU/hr biomass gasification-boiler to provide steam and electricity, using an 18 kW generator, to the Veterinary Medicine Basic Science building. The boiler will be primarily fueled with a 100 acre plot of Miscanthus, though additional biomass fuels such as corn stover and wood chips are anticipated to be used as well. The University has received a significant grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to help fund the project.

Photovoltaics – The new Business Instructional Facility will feature a photovoltaic array expected to provide 5-7% of the building’s electrical energy requirements.

6. Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.

No: The new Office of Sustainability will take this up as an agenda item.

7. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.

No: The University of Illinois is working to proactively reduce consumption and recycle the waste we produce. The Waste Transfer Station recycles or diverts 50% of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign waste. During FY08, the Waste Transfer Station recycled 2074 tons of paper and cardboard, 41 tons of aluminum cans, 625 tons of scrap metal, 21 tons of plastic, 1300 tons of landscape waste and 325 tons of pallets. In addition to the Waste Transfer Station’s efforts, the Campus’s Garage and Carpool recapped rather than replaced 25 tires.