The Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, a statewide program that encourages sustainable practices at colleges and universities, recently honored Elmhurst College for its significant efforts to protect the environment and create a campus culture of "living green."
Elmhurst College received a Bronze level award from the State of Illinois last month during a luncheon that recognized not only higher education institutions but also companies and organizations throughout Illinois that are committed to environmental excellence.
The Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact outlines environmental goals that colleges and universities can work toward to incorporate sustainability into their campus operations, academic and research programs, student activities and community outreach.
At the Bronze level of participation, institutions make a commitment to create a sustainability program and engage the campus community in implementing it. Other Bronze level recipients for 2012 included DePaul University, Northwestern University's Chicago campus, and Roosevelt University.
Elmhurst College was recognized for establishing a Sustainability Committee whose members -- students, faculty and administrators -- promote sustainability efforts across campus; and for creating a far-reaching Sustainability Plan that addresses how resources are used in all of the college's operations, and that encourages the campus community to use those resources in more environmentally responsible ways.
Elmhurst College has a long tradition of responsible stewardship of the environment. In 1966, the college established the campus arboretum, which today boasts more than 800 trees and shrubs from 150 varieties.
Elmhurst's newest residence hall, West Hall, was awarded a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainable design features.
The college's core values include a commitment to pursue innovations that respect the environment and foster sustainability in the management of our resources. And student groups such as the Greenjays and Living Green Team educate the campus community about conservation, recycling and composting programs.
Students also have led several hugely successful electronics recycling events for Elmhurst residents.
At the state awards luncheon, 21 companies and organizations also were honored. They received Governor's Sustainability Awards from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.
The Governor's awards are presented to organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices that will also save money and help the economy.
This year's Governor's Sustainability Award winners included Advocate Health Care in Oak Brook, the City of Moline, Naperville Park District, the Great Lakes Naval Station and Testa Produce, Inc., in Chicago.